LAHORE   -   The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has urged the government to lay foundation of Industrial revolution by abolishing customs/regulatory/additional duty on around 2,800 tariff lines for raw materials.

LCCI President Almas Hyder said that manufacturing sector was most important for economic growth and it should be energized through supportive measures.

“Manufacturing is the path to development, creates jobs and much-needed revenue/foreign exchange for the state”, he said. He said that high cost of doing business was the major reason of below the par growth of manufacturing sector and exports of the country. He said that finest quality of Pakistani goods impress the international buyers but Chinese, Indian, Bangladeshi and products of various other countries get the benefit of low input cost. The LCCI President said that there were around 2800 tariff lines of raw materials. Although the Government has exempted Custom Duty (CD) on more than 1650 raw materials/industrial inputs in the federal budget on demand of the LCCI, there were some major raw material lines that were not included in this list. He said that another review was needed in this regard so that around 1200 more raw material lines could be included in the list for duty exemption. This would enhance the competitiveness of local Industry and enable it to compete with smuggling, under invoicing and mitigate the effects of low tariff FTAs. Furthermore, it would help the government eliminate many SROs and close many doors of corruption.

He said that businessmen wanted to contribute heavily in economic uplift of the country provided their genuine issues were resolved. He said that abolishment of customs/regulatory/additional duty would be a great favor, not only to the manufacturing sector but to the national economy. He said that regulatory duty should not be withdrawn partially but on all tariff lines for raw materials.  He said that since various imported raw materials were being used in the local industries for manufacturing and exporting of goods therefore customs/regulatory duty on these important inputs was harming the of export-oriented industries.