ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved, in principle, the first-ever National Tariff Policy (NTP) to ensure transparency and predictability and institutionalise the entire structure of the tariff regime.
The draft policy will now be presented before the federal cabinet for consideration, a Prime Minister Office statement said on Wednesday.
Highlighting the policy’s salient features, Commerce Secretary Younus Dagha said the policy had been drafted after detailed and comprehensive discussions with the stakeholders.
He said the major objectives of the policy were to improve competitiveness through access to raw materials, increase employment opportunities by attracting investment through transparent and predictable tariff regime and remove anomalies in the tariff structure, causing distortions.
The policy’s principles include tariff as a trade policy instrument, reducing exemptions and concessions, cascading tariff structures with the stage of processing of a product, strategic protection to domestic industry and competitive import substitution.
The new policy also envisages the establishment of a broad-based tariff policy centre in the commerce ministry to formulate proposals for improving tariff structure in pursuance of its objectives.
Mr Dagha said the prime minister appreciated the commerce ministry’s efforts in formulating a comprehensive tariff policy.
He said the policy would greatly restore confidence of the business community by providing for a transparent, predictable and institutionalised structure for tariff setting.
The commerce secretary said the prime minister observed that the economy, especially the trade and industrial development, suffered in the past due to unpredictability of tariff structure.
Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2019