ISLAMABAD: The Tariff Policy Board (TPB) on Thursday agreed to work out a proposal for the removal of additional customs duty on 152 tariff lines to provide cheaper raw materials to domestic industries.
The TPB meeting, led by Adviser to PM Minister on Commerce and Investment Razak Dawood asked the board to work out proposals to removal additional customs duties on remaining raw materials that are not manufactured in the country.
An official announcement said TPB members opined that there is an urgent need to remove anomalies in the tariff structure so that cost of doing business could be reduced by providing cheap raw materials to the industrial sector.
It is believed that the exercise would also help improve competitiveness of Pakistan’s exports vis-a vis trading partners. The meeting was attended by senior officers of relevant divisions.
NTC Chairperson Robina Ather briefed TPB members on progress, made so far, in conducting study of plastics sector. The adviser stressed that sectoral studies ought to be completed within the given time line so that tariffs could be rationalised by taking into account the recommendations.
Dawood reiterated the importance, given by the government, to the ‘Make in Pakistan’ initiative.
In order to achieve this objective, import duties on 1,623 tariff lines, pertaining to basic raw material and intermediate goods had been reduced to zero through the Finance Act, 2020. In continuation of this policy, additional customs duties and regulatory duties on 164 items related to textile sector, not manufactured in the country had been recently removed by the federal cabinet.
At the end of the meeting, adviser remarked that in pursuance of the objectives of National Tariff Policy 2019-24, TPB meetings are being held on regular basis. Prior to this policy, proposals regarding tariff rationalisations were mostly discussed at the time of budget exercise.
He further stated that as per vision of PM Imran Khan, the tariffs are being used as an instrument of trade policy so that manufacturing sector in the country could be strengthened.
Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2020