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KARACHI: Pakistan Tea Association (PTA) has organized ‘Third Pakistan Tea Convention’ on the eve of International Tea Day.

The inaugural ceremony of the mega event was held at a local hotel on Saturday. Over 300 delegates from 10 countries including Kenya, Uganda, UK, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and others attended the event.

Chairman Pakistan Tea Association Javed H Paracha, former chairman and chairman organizing committee Hanif Janoo and others office-bearers welcomed the guests who came from different destinations to attend this event in Pakistan.

Javed H. Paracha, in his speech said that the event will help to promote tea trade in Pakistan. All issues being faced by tea importers will be discussed at this event, he said.

Aftab Tapal, Chairman Tapal Tea Limited, in his speech highlighted the success story of Tapal Tea. He said Tapal Tea Limited is now the largest tea business player in Pakistan. He told the audience about the history of Tapal Tea Limited.

Hanif Janoo, former Chairman PTA and Chairman Organizing Committee, in his speech highlighted the objectives of the Convention.

Pakistan is one of the largest tea importers in the world with having 1.1 kg per capita tea consumption. Pakistan had imported over 244,533,079 kg black tea worth $558,422,925 (Pak Rs 86,555,553,349) from 19 different countries in the calendar year 2021. Pakistan had also imported 2,935,616 kg green tea worth $5,981,655 (Pak Rs 926,393,091) from six different countries during the year 2021.

At the Tea Convention, speakers highlights problems and challenges being faced by tea importers in Pakistan. They said that smuggling of tea, PKR instability, inflation and duty structure are some major issues to be addressed by the authorities.

In its budget proposals, Pakistan Tea Association (PTA) has proposed the government to revise custom tariff of tea and withdraw exemptions for all importers to have level playing field.

PTA said that tea is common food/ drink for the poor masses and it is used with Roti (bread); therefore, it should not be treated as a luxury drink.

PTA said that it is not a practice to collect additional (advance) sales tax on import of raw material by the government. PTA requested the government to abolish this practice (maximum retail price sales tax) vide SRO No. 103 and 104 of sales tax, 1990.

In the budget proposals the PTA said that transfer custom tariff chapter of tea (HSCODE 0902) from 3rd part of schedule 12 to 2nd part u/s 148 as per ITO, 2001 – income tax at import stage.

To make a fair competition, the PTA requested the government to withdraw exemptions for all importers of tea to have level playing field.

In order to contain inflation, discourage smuggling and other malpractice elements, it is requested to revise custom tariff of tea.

The event was well attended as a large number of people including foreign delegates, local tea importers, representatives of major tea trading companies and others attended this Convention.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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