KARACHI: The rupee devaluation against the dollar has increased the cost of used clothes import, said Pakistan Second Hand Clothing Merchants Association (PSHCMA) Secretary General Usman Farooqui.

In a letter written to Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, Farooqui asked for the curtailment of duties and taxes on imports of used clothing to bring down the increased cost.

He said one dollar has reached over Rs163 as compared to Rs160 ahead of Eid, making imports costlier. The poor people cannot afford the high price of used clothing, which has been rising due to soaring cost of imports on account of rupee depreciation, Farooqui added.

Second hand clothing imports are already facing high incidence of various taxes and duties, which include five per cent customs duty and sales tax each and 6pc withholding tax.

He said another 10pc regulatory duty was imposed in Budget FY20, which had never been done by any governments previously. He urged the commerce ministry to reduce taxes and duties on import of used clothing.

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, import of worn clothing stood at 340,812 tonnes in July-April FY, valuing $149 million, as compared to 381,982 tonnes worth $146m in the same period last fiscal year. The average per tonne price in 10MFY20 rose to $438, from $383 in the corresponding period last year.

Meanwhile, FPCCI Vice President Khurram Ejaz urged the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan to immediately issue NOC to importers for speedy clearance of face mask consignments from the port.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2020