ISLAMABAD/LAHORE -  The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has resented the move of the government to impose regulatory duty (RD) on import of 36 new items and raise of RD on 240 existing items to curtail trade deficit.

The ICCI termed it an unwise decision and said that it would unleash a new wave of inflation in the country, affect growth of business activities and bring more miseries to the common man.

ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed said that announcing mini-budget in almost half way of the financial year shows lack of planning on the part of the policy-makers because such unexpected measures create problems for business activities and put more burdens on the general public. He said regulatory duty has been increased up to 50 percent on many eatable items including fruits and vegetables that would put extra burden on the common man apart from affecting business activities.

The ICCI chief stressed that the government should review hike in RD, especially on eatable items. He said that the government should not enhance RD on imported items that were being used as raw material/inputs for manufacturing of local products as hike in RD on such items would cause further dip in exports.

He said that instead of enhancing RD on imports to curb trade deficit, the government should focus on addressing the key issues of exporters to facilitate the growth of exports. He said, “Our exports have declined by almost 20 percent since 2013-14, after attaining the peak level of $25 billion, but the government remained inactive to arrest the declining trend in exports. He said Pakistan mostly depended on textiles for exports while exports of other items including agriculture and SMEs have taken a big hit during the last many years. It showed that no tangible efforts were made to broaden and diversify the export base due to which our imports have gone up and exports have come down.”

The ICCI president stressed that government should reduce taxes on manufacturing inputs, take strong measures to ensure easy availability of credit to the private sector from commercial banks and address key issues of SMEs that would help in promoting exports and reducing trade deficit. ICCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Naveed and Vice President Nisar Ahmed Mirza said that before announcing unilateral mini-budgets, the government should have first taken chambers of commerce and business leaders on board to arrive at consensus decisions for coping with trade deficit and other issues of the economy.

LCCI flays FBR for imposing

regulatory duty

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has slammed Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for imposing up to 50 percent regulatory duty (RD) on imported goods and feared of dire economic consequences of this decision that has been taken without consulting the stakeholders.

In a statement, LCCI President Malik Tahir Javed and Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed, while showing dismay on FBR’s move, said that the LCCI was calling for consultation before imposition of RD but FBR authorities did not bother and imposed the decision. They said that imposition of RD on various essentials is nothing else but to encourage smuggling of goods like chemicals and tyres that is already hollowing the economic base of the country.

They said that RD will increase the prices of even necessary raw materials and other essentials for the trade and industry. They said that the LCCI supports reduction of luxurious item’s imports but also demands that imports of those raw materials and goods should not be hampered that are not being manufactured in the country.