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KARACHI: M Bashir Janmohammed, Chairman, Pakistan-Malaysia Business Council (PMBC) has urged the federal government to collect the sales tax on the basis of price US$750 per ton to curtail the smuggling of Iranian edible oil in the country.

Talking to the Business Recorder on the sidelines of a meeting with a Malaysian business delegation headed by Madam Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin, Minister of Plantation industries & Commodities, Malaysia, he said that the issue of sales tax collection on the basis of price US$750 per ton has been discussed with the finance minister but no measure was witnessed so far.

During meeting with Malaysian delegation, Bashir stressed the need of addressing trade imbalance, which touched to around US$ 1 billion, through diversified trade products and take suitable measures to enhance Pakistan’s exports to Malaysia, presently roaming around US$260 million.

He said that trade between Pakistan and Malaysia had declined considerably; Malaysian share in Pakistan’s import of palm oil had drastically decreased to about 11 percent, owing to seldom scarce supply and price factors, whereas remaining 89% was being imported from Indonesia.

Furthermore, he said that Malaysia had imposed 7 percent duty on Pakistani mangoes while it was zero in case of competitors like Thailand, India, etc. He urged the Malaysian authorities to abolish the same besides simplifying the procedure in respect of packing, labelling and other requirements related to the imports of fruits and vegetables.

Bashir also stressed upon the need of addressing the issues related to the import permit for each shipment especially for mangoes, saying that it should be abolished or converted into one time permit for each season.

He said that last Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Malaysia was made in 2016; hence, PMBC had urged the governments to revise it accordingly to facilitate the trade between two countries; adding that certain products including agriculture, sports, surgical goods, fruits and vegetables should be included in FTA to further boost bilateral trade between two friendly nations.

He also requested the Minister of Plantation industries & Commodities, Malaysia to play their role to encourage joint ventures between Pakistan and Malaysian business communities in several sectors including tourism, juice industry, IT, communication, construction, halal food industry, etc.

Meanwhile, Madam Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin, Minister of Plantation industries & Commodities, Malaysia said that the purpose of the visit was to market palm oil and other Malaysian products related to rubber, cocoa, timber and others in Pakistan. She said that post-Covid scenario had opened new ways of business, which need to be explored for both countries.

Later, Director General, Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Director, Malaysian Palm Oil Council, Director Marketing, Malaysian Timber Council, Director General, Malaysian Rubber Board, Chairman, Malaysian Pepper Board gave presentation. Khair ul Nazran AbdRahman, Counsel General, Malaysian Consulate in Karachi also spoke.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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