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ISLAMABAD: The ghee and cooking oil industry has approached Prime Minister Imran Khan for taking strict action against smuggling of these products from Iran, causing huge revenue loss to the national kitty.

In a communication to the prime minister here on Monday, Abdul Waheed former chairman, Pakistan Vanaspati Manufactures Association (PVMA) informed that the PVMA is consistently drawing the attention of all relevant federal and provincial authorities on the subject issue, but so far, no relief is in sight.

It is reiterated that on a daily basis large quantities to the tune of 300-400 metric tons of cooking oil/ghee is smuggled in to Pakistan, which is subsequently, transported to Karachi in particular and other provinces in general.

The smuggled cooking oil and ghee is available in bulk and retail at a discount rate of up to Rs130/kg or litre or say Rs 130,000 per M-ton, when compared to duty/taxes paid price of domestically-manufactured products.

Therefore, on one hand, the estimated revenue loss is around Rs 36 million/day or Rs 1.1 billion per month and on other hand, the domestic industry is unable to compete with the sizeable discount only available to smuggled products.

He stated that the scheme of smuggling is now even more organised, due to which the 20 kg/ltr packing are now decanted into bowzers and transported in bulk to oil depots and reportedly to few manufacturing units.

One such incident was reported to authorities concerned but no punitive action was taken against the culprits.

Hence, now the selling of smuggled goods is reduced in retail packing, but their bulk supply has increased.

According to industry’s information, the volume of smuggled goods is likely to increase as time passes, which will further increase the hardships for legitimate and tax obedient industry besides increase in revenue loss to the national exchequer.

The PVMA would appreciate, if the government shares with it the policy formulated for harnessing the menace of smuggling and also share with us the punitive actions taken against the identified miscreants involved and exposed/identified so far.

Furthermore, the PVMA would appreciate, if the directive from Prime Minister’s Office may kindly be issued to all agencies for checking the menace of smuggling incurring huge losses to the national exchequer, Waheed added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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