ISLAMABAD – Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Wednesday lauded the government for discouraging unnecessary imports. The decision to slap additional duties on inessential imports will reduce the loss of foreign exchange while promoting local production, provide employment and generate additional revenue, said ICST Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt. The decision of the government to discourage imports of needless items will reduce trade deficit which has touched alarming proportions, he added.
He said that duties should be increased on various items to discourage pointless imports of food items and luxuries. Duty on import of fish should be revised to 30 percent from the current 25 percent, he demanded. Butt stated that regulatory duty on yoghurt, cheese, honey and other dairy products should also be revised upward. He said that duty on import of fruits and vegetables, cornflakes, biscuits, bread, pickles, dry fruit juices, ice cream, ketchup, coffee, beverages, mineral water etc should also be reconsidered.
He concluded, “We support move to hike duty on cosmetics, leather items, shoes, fans, sports goods, wooden furniture, arms and ammunition and demand additional duty on hundreds of items which are being imported due to liberal import policy.”