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KARACHI: Abdul Rashid, President Site Association of Industry (SAI) said that the decision to increase import duty and impose regulatory duty on industrial machinery and other industry-related items including power machinery should be withdrawn so that business activities are not hampered.

Expressing concern over the decision of the federal government to increase the duty and impose regulatory duty on imports of industrial items in the name of economic emergency, he said that the government has taken recent decisions without any consultation with stakeholders due to which there are serious concerns in the industrial community.

In an appeal to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, SAI president said that according to an estimate, the government has decided to curb imports amounting US six billion dollars. The government has proposed to raise regulatory duty on imported tyres to be increased by 50 percent, RD on machinery to be up by 10 percent, power generation machinery regulatory to go up by 30 percent, steel products regulatory duty to up by 10 percent, RD on ceramics to be up by 40 percent.

SAI president said: “Stakeholders were not consulted nor taken on board before increasing the duty on imported goods while the business community is in favour of discouraging imports, we say that duty should not be increased unnecessarily on items that drive the industrial wheel”.

However, if duties on imported items and machinery for industrial purposes are increased and regulatory duties are imposed, industrial performance will be severely affected and the economy will face further crises.

Abdul Rashid was of the opinion that in the current situation, political parties need to forget all differences and agree on decisions in the best interest of the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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