ISLAMABAD-The ministry of commerce would start consultations with stakeholders in August to develop a roadmap of tariff rationalisation for three years for improvement of competitiveness of domestic industry including the exports sector.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Monday said that it was decided in budget making process that government would start discussions with stakeholders for preparing a 3 year roadmap for tariff rationalisation in August. “At a meeting on Monday, it was decided to start the process soon after the Eid break. We would begin by examining the Iron & Steel, Plastics, Engineering, Pharma, Chemicals and Textile sectors,” the Adviser said on Twitter.

He added that he would look forward to interactive sessions with all stakeholders in order to prepare a constructive roadmap to develop our export-led ‘Make in Pakistan’ programme. Earlier, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment has chaired a meeting at Ministry of Commerce, which was attended by National Tariff Commission (NTC) Secretary Commerce and Chairperson. He said that tariff rationalisation is vital for export-led industrialisation in Pakistan and discussions would start with the relevant stakeholders from next month to develop a three year roadmap in this regard. The Advisor appreciated the efforts of Tariff Policy Board (TPB) and Tariff Policy Centre (TPC), National Tariff Commission for successful implementation of National Tariff Policy in Federal Budget 2020-21 through reduction of duties on around 2000 tariff lines, comprising basic raw materials/ intermediates goods.

The Advisor further emphasised the importance of tariff rationalisation for improvement of competitiveness of domestic industry including the exports sector through duty free access to imported raw materials and intermediate goods, which will eventually increase employment opportunity in the country by attracting investment in manufacturing sector. He underlined that the stakeholder consultation process should lead to a constructive roadmap to develop export-led ‘Make in Pakistan’ programme. For increase in consumer welfare, the Advisor directed to lessen the distortion in domestic price structure. He asked to remove tariff anomalies in tariff structure through analysis of value chains. He further directed Tariff Policy Centre, National Tariff Commission to conduct detailed studies and suggest three years tariff rationalisation roadmap initially for Iron & Steel, Plastics, Engineering, Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals and Textile sectors.

On the direction of Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, National Tariff Commission is planning to conduct studies on above mentioned sectors to provide three years tariff plan. In order to formulate three years tariff plan, National Tariff Commission will first identify the complete value chains. It will then identify potential stakeholders, collect data from the primary and secondary sources, visit relevant industries, chambers and associations for collection and verification of data conduct public hearings and prepare a three years tariff plan. And finally, the proposed three-year tariff plan will be submitted to Tariff Policy Board for approval and inclusion in Annual Budget.