ISLAMABAD: The government has imposed regulatory duty on import of 36 new products and raised its rates on the existing 240 items in a fresh move to curtail rising trade deficit of the country.
The import of these eatable and luxury items — on which the duty has been raised by up to 50 per cent — saw approximately 40pc growth in the first three months of the current fiscal year, despite the fact that the government has already increased regulatory duties on most of these products in the last budget. This is the second time that the PML-N government has come up with such a huge increase in the rates of regulatory duties on imported items. In the budget for 2017-18, the government raised the regulatory duties on 565 tariff lines.
On Tuesday, the Federal Board of Revenue issued a new notification of regulatory duties on 731 tariff lines.
But a senior customs official said that all the items subjected to regulatory duties were consolidated into one SRO as against the earlier eight different SROs. He said no change was made in regulatory duties on 430 tariff lines.
Prices of wheat, sugar, vegetables, fruits, cosmetics, electronics and cars will go up
According to the official, the additional duty to be collected from these products would be used to provide cash subsidy to exporters and clear their outstanding dues stuck with the government. The new items that were subjected to regulatory duties include washing preparations, plastic products, tyres of trucks and cars, parts of air-conditioner, varnishes and cigarette papers.
On import of new cars of up to 1800cc, 15pc regulatory duty was imposed while in the case of above 1800cc luxury cars, the duty was increased to 80pc from 50pc.
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The eatable items on which regulatory duty has been increased include whey powder (from 20pc to 25pc), curd (15pc), grated or powdered cheese of all kinds, processed cheese (from 20pc to 40pc) and desiccated coconut (from 15pc to 35pc).
The duty on fresh grapes, watermelons, apricots and peaches has been raised from 20pc to 40pc, on prunes, apples, tamarind, cherries, pine nuts (chilgoza), plums, lychees, raisins and dried fruits from 20pc to 50pc and on peaches from 20pc to 45pc.
The duty on wheat and other types of wheat has been increased to 60pc from 25pc, on betel leaves to Rs400 per kg from Rs200kg and on beet sugar, jaggery (gur), cane sugar, white crystalline cane sugar and cocoa powder to 40pc from 20pc.
The regulatory duty on potatoes, vegetables and mixtures of vegetables has been raised to 50pc from 20pc. On import of pineapples and aerated water, the duty has been raised to 40pc from 20pc. The duty on different types of juices, soya sauces, tomato ketchup, tomato sauces and mustard flour has been enhanced to 50pc from 20pc.
The duty has been raised to 50pc from 20pc on perfumes, lip makeup preparations, eye makeup preparations, nail polish, face powder, talcum powder, face and skin creams, tonics and skin food, shampoos, cream for hair, hair lacquers, dyes for hair, toothpaste, dental floss, perfumed bath salts and other bath preparations and shaving cream.
The duty has been raised to 50pc from 20pc on contact lens solution, joss sticks (agarbatti), medicated products for toilet use, soap in other form and organic surface active products and preparations for washing the skin in the form of liquid and cream.
The regulatory duty has been raised to 40pc from 20pc on products of leather. The duty on articles of apparel and clothing accessories of leather has been raised to 50pc, on footwear to 35pc from 15pc and on different marbles to 45pc from 25pc.
The duty has been raised to 40pc from 20pc on washbasin, cisterns ceramic, sink ceramic, toilet ceramic, ceramic sinks, washing basis and dinner sets, dishes, plates, tea cups. The duty on glass beads and imitation pearls has been enhanced to 55pc from 25 and on imitation jewelry to 45pc from 15pc. The duty on LCD, LED and TVs has been raised to 40pc from 20pc and on wood and metal furniture to 40pc from 20pc.
The duty has been raised from 20pc to 40pc on ACs self-contained or split type comprising inner and outer unit whether or not imported separately and air-conditioners and on part of air-conditions and fully-automated machines from 20pc to 40pc. The duty has been raised to 50pc from 20pc on chandeliers, lightings, electric tables, desk, bedside or floor standing lamps, illuminated signs, illuminated name plates, videogames consoles and machines.
The regulatory duty has been raised to 50pc from 20pc on various articles of table tennis, badminton, squash, cricket balls, balls of other games and football, and to 30pc from 20pc on different products like cover, bladders, bats, wickets, pads, sets, sticks, etc.
Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2017