ISLAMABAD: The government took several facilitation measures to incentivise use of technology to boost exports from the country.
Through the Finance Bill 2019, the government has reduced retention period from 10 years to 5 years of plant, machinery and equipment brought under export facilitation schemes.
After this amendment, now if export-oriented units intend to dispose of their machinery prior to the period of five years, further option is made to pay duty and taxes against the different depreciated rates after three years.
This facility is also extended to units operating within export processing zones. Moreover, it has also been decided to revalidate the licences of export-oriented units for two years.
To resolve grievances of export processing units, manufacturing bond scheme and duty and taxes remission for export scheme (DTRE), government has reduced one administrative tier in the budget 2019-20.
In the manufacturing bond scheme, it has been decided to revalidate the licences for three years. In order to redress the complaints to delay in issuance of analysis cards in manufacturing bond and export-oriented units, it has also been decided that provisional analysis cards will be issued to the applicants immediately.
Moreover, if there are no changes in the input output ratios from the existing approvals, then the previously determined ratios will be accepted.
Presently, Pakistan Customs charges Rs250 as service fee against each goods declaration processed through its customs computerised system namely WeBOC under section 18D of the customs act 1969. The rate is now enhanced to Rs500. The only justification given was that it will help upgradation and maintenance of the computerised system network.
The government has reduced customs duty on 66 items, which are prone to smuggling, to discourage their imports under transit trade. After the imposition of regulatory duties, many items shifted to transit trade posing further challenges to the economy.
The prominent items on which regulatory duty was reduced considerably can include sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers; rusks, toasted bread and similar toasted products, aerated waters, non-alcoholic beer and varnishes.
Other products include which saw reduction in regulatory duty include polyesters, dinner sets, dishes, plates, tea cups and saucers, chandeliers, light fittings with fixed/fitted LED or SMD or COB; electric table, desk, bedside or floor-standing lamps; lighting sets of a kind used of Christmas trees, tubular day lighting device, illuminated signs, illuminated name plates and the like, plastics, tooth brushes including dental plate brushes.
The maximum regulatory duty was 40pc on crockery which was brought down to 20pc. Similarly reduction was made in regulatory duties in the ranges to 5pc to 20pc depending on the items.
Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2019