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ISLAMABAD: Commerce Ministry said on Thursday that an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) has been constituted to manage quota to be allocated to jewellers for import of gold.

Commerce Ministry shared its position with a Sub-Committee of Senate Standing Committee on Commerce, which met to discuss the issue of import of gold to discourage its smuggling into the country. Ministry of Commerce is in process of amending the SRO in consultation with the stakeholders for the issues identified by the exporters of jewellery.

The Sub-Committee headed by Senator Fida Muhammad was briefed that IPO 2022 allows import of gold in bulk on the condition that the importer arranges his/ her own foreign exchange for the purpose. Gold importers have complained that the condition is ambiguous thus practically restricting the import of gold.

The Sub-Committee raised different questions during the meeting which were responded by the officials of Commerce Ministry.

According to Commerce Ministry, to streamline the procedure an Inter-Ministerial Committee was constituted with members from Ministry of Commerce, TDAP, SBP and FBR to manage quota allocations.

Senate’s sub-committee set up to devise mechanism for import of gold

The committee is deliberating on the possibility of allowing import of gold with quota of five tons per annum (July-June). Committee will meet on quarterly basis to review performance of importers/ process applications. TDAP will serve as the secretariat of Committee.

The gold importer will register for Sales Tax, Point of Sales (PoS), Income Tax, non-defaulter of income tax and sales tax, and will declare source of financing - financial means to import gold. Quota will be allocated on the basis of annual turnover – business worth.

According to the procedure, applicant would be registered with TDAP. Applications would be examined by the Committee: first time quota would be on the basis of turnover – subsequently on quota utilization. Payments/ transactions would be under applicable foreign exchange regulations. Gold would be allowed to be imported only in bullion form with weightage and purity embossed. Imports will be as one consignment or in parts and customs can limit/ specify ports of entry.

Applicants would have to mention quantity of pure gold with karat and wastage on the sales invoice. Quota holders would be required to submit reconciliation statement.

Gold can be imported under the following two specialized schemes of the SRO 760 without payment of any taxes or duties as per para 6 of the SRO: Entrustment Scheme which allows import of gold, supplied by foreign buyer to jewellers in Pakistan for the purpose of jewellery making and subsequent export back to supplier. Gold imported must be processed in 120 days from the time of import and not allowed to be sold in domestic market. Quantity and quality of gold imported and exported would be tracked through entries in Passbook by TDAP and Customs. Jeweller before import has to deposit 1% cash margin of import value of gold with commercial bank.

The Government has prohibited, except with the general or special permission of the State Bank, the import of any gold coin, gold bullion, gold sheets or gold ingot whether refined or not. Import of pure gold/ silver will be allowed against export of gold/ silver jewellery in accordance with the procedure notified. SBP has granted general permission for import of gold into Pakistan as accompanied baggage in accordance with the existing import policy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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