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ISLAMABAD: The prices of used computers and laptops have jumped from 50 to 80 percent in all computer markets following issuance of a controversial customs valuation ruling by the Directorate General of Customs Valuation.

The vendors of the computer industry told Business Recorder here on Monday that it is very encouraging that the Chairman FBR has taken notice of the situation and directed the concerned authorities to review the matter within the legal framework and applicable laws and regulations. The appeal has been filed with the Directorate General of Customs Valuation for revision of the ruling. The said ruling has considerably raised the minimum customs values on the import of used computers. So far, the Directorate General of Customs Valuation has not taken any action the appeal.

According to the computer vendors, the use of computers and laptops have increased manifold in the academic institutions including colleges and universities for learn/work-from-home plan for almost all public sector organisations, especially during the previously held long-lockdowns.

The IT industry has suffered severe setback due to the imposition of import duty through its Valuation Ruling on used computers and laptops by the government without consulting the IT stakeholders including traders and importers of used computers. This has led to drastic rise in the prices of used computers at the time of high demand of these items by students and domestic users.

This was stated by Shami Shah, an active Member and representative of the IT traders’ community in the country. He said, the prices of used computers and laptops have jumped from 50 to 80 percent against their previous lowest prices.

Another key IT trader Syed Ali Mahteshim, commenting on the ruling said that the computer business and traders/investors are leaving their businesses due to the slow down of IT market and uncertainty in the entire compute industry.

The traders believe that the said situation is unacceptable to the IT industry which has demanded of the government to realize the seriousness of the situation particularly when lockdowns have increased following surge in hundreds of new cases of COVID. The educational institutions are being closed down again and business markets and centers are being restricted to run their businesses.

Meanwhile, the representatives of trader bodies in the country including Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry have strongly proposed to immediately withdraw the Valuation Ruling on used computers and laptops to save thousands of computer traders and allied workers and their families from disaster and close of computer businesses.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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