Lot of noise and cry is being made by the opposition parties and their leaders as well as print and electronic media following levying of Regulatory Duty on some 376 imported items in the ratio of 5 to 80 per cent.

Regulatory duty has been imposed on dairy products, poultry, cellphones, milk, vegetables, fruits, dry fruits, cigarettes, toothbrushes, garments, vehicles, home appliances and other items. In all fairness, this is a double-edged weapon which the wise guys in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) have applied.

On one hand, this is quite rightly aimed at discouraging unnecessary items almost all of which are available within the country easily, in abundance and at comparatively cheaper rates as compared to the imported items. This will help in appreciably decreasing the country’s import bill and improving the balance of trade. Better discourage not so essential imports and boost exports of the country as patriotic Pakistanis.

On the other hand, this move will also directly and indirectly help in protection of locally manufactured and produced products prices of which are much on lower side than the imported products. A locally manufactured biscuit packet is sold at Rs 30 and a pack of imported biscuits costs minimum of Rs 85 or so in the open market.

One just wonders as to what is the need for importing costly products which are easily available locally and are also of good standard and quality without realising that such not so essential items import burdens the import bill and in the short and long run enhances it putting it higher than the exports and negatively impacting the trade balance.

As Pakistanis we should preferably use locally produced and manufactured products quality of which will surely and certainly improve after lot of improvement in demand by the people. Please do not raise hue and cry unnecessarily and look at the rationale behind this move of the FBR. Thanks.

MUHAMMAD MURTAZA ZEESHAN,

Lahore, October 19.