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ISLAMABAD: Large steel producers have conveyed to the chairman China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority that the tax holiday for Gwadar Free Port should not allow duty-free import of all those goods/materials which are locally manufactured and meet the international standards.

The issue was raised during a recent meeting of the Patron in Chief, Pakistan Association of Large Steel Producers (PALSP), Abbas Akberali with Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa (retired) - chairman CPEC Authority.

During the meeting, the PALSP Patron in Chief expressed concerns over the fact that the government announced a 40-year tax holiday for Gwadar Free Port under Pakistan Customs Tariff (PCT) heading 9917 allowing import of duty-free materials/goods.

This concession is most damaging to the local industry and it amounts to exporting jobs of our country to other countries.

The local industry appeals to the CPEC authority, Finance Ministry and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) not to allow duty-free import of all those goods/materials that are locally manufacture and meet international standards.

However, all those products or machinery that is not produced locally may be allowed to be imported.

In the prevailing scenario, large steel manufacturers urged upon the government that tax adjustments must be allowed (on all kinds of taxes) to local suppliers to Gwadar Free Port.

The industry proposed that the Blast furnace (BF)/or any new technology for steel making may be allowed but the re-location of the technology, which is already available in our country, like induction or arc furnace steel making technology, must not be allowed to be imported.

Otherwise, this will kill the local industry which is already using this technology.

Abbas Akberali apprised the CPEC chairman that these concessions were being misused.

The chairman CPEC promised to address the concerns of the local steel industry. He also mentioned that he will ensure that local material is used in the upcoming ML-1 Railways project.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021