ISLAMABAD - A parliamentary committee on Tuesday showed concerns over increase in regulatory duty (RD) on imported commodities, saying it would destroy the domestic industry of the country.

The Senate standing committee on finance and revenue, which met under the chairmanship of Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, discussed the recent increase in RD on imported commodities. The committee noted that government has increased duties on basic food commodities, which would affect the common people.

Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Tariq Pasha informed the committee that government has taken the decision to control the soaring import bill of the country. He dismissed the impression that government has increased the RD for revenue generation. “The imports were increasing faster than exports. Therefore, the government has targeted luxurious commodities to enhance duties,” he said and added that decision would help in reducing import bill by $500 million.

He clarified that FBR has not increased the RD on 731 items. The government has increased the duties on 47 commodities.

Mandviwalla said that the government increased the RD on food commodities like eggs and cucumber, which would affect the common people.

Senator Mohsin Aziz said the decision of enhancing RD on imported commodities would not help in creating balance in exports and imports. However, it would destroy the domestic industry, he added.

The committee directed FBR to provide a list of imported commodities, which showed the ratio of increase in RD.