KARACHI: Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Junaid EsmailMakda on Wednesday denounced the imposition of regulatory duty on 570 items, stating that the step “would terribly hit the common man”as many imported items are widely used in every household of the country.
He deplored the regulatory duty would affect the local production, as the list of 570 items carried numerous raw materials and industrial inputs as well.
In a statement, the KCCI president pointed out that this step was likely to have an adverse impact on the overall industrial performance and the economy, as it would clearly trigger inflation and raise the cost of locally-manufactured products.
Junaid Makda elaborated that RD between 5 to 90 percent has been imposed on a wide range of products, including essential items used by average consumer, as well asraw material for domestic industry to produce exportable items.
“Themove will not only escalate prices of many local products that are supplied to the local markets, but will also make Pakistan’s exports uncompetitive due to additional costs,” he remarked.
He said that many of these products were either not being produced in Pakistan at all or being produced in limited quantities, leaving no other choice but to import them in order to overcome the huge demand.
Many of these essential items in the RD list simply cannot be labelled as luxury products, the said, lamenting that the same old practice of finalizing RD list without consulting the stakeholders and without considering the ground realities was being followed.
“The whole process of imposing RD shows lack of long-term vision to overcome the mounting trade deficit and external debt,” he stated.
Junaid Makda reiterated that this step would intensify the hardships for common man and the industry only, whereas the difficult but favorable decisions with regard to implementation of tax reforms, removal of exemptions and concessions along with effective strategies to stop misuse of Afghan Transit Trade were being avoided by the decisionmakers.
Besides demanding immediate withdrawal of RD on essential imported items, Junaid Makda urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to hold meetings with all stakeholders on a regular basis to avoid the adverse impact on consumer prices and facilitate trade and industry.