ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to leave the issue of tariff determination for the next budget.

Presiding over a meeting of the committee on Wednesday its Chairman Zeeshan Khanzada asked the FBR not to bypass the ministry of commerce while determining the tariff rates as observed in the money bill, 2021.

Commerce Secretary Sauleh Farooqi informed the committee that the tariff compositions for the financial year 2022-23 will be finalised before March 31.

Deputy Chairman of the Senate Mohammad Mirza Afridi inquired about the mechanisms through which the tariff is determined.

The commerce secretary informed the meeting that the tariff compositions were determined in consultation with the National Tariff Commission and Trade Economist Team.

Mr Khanzada gave directives to seek information on the textile policy review in the next meeting.

The committee was informed that Mexico had imposed a ban on rice import from Pakistan due to the detection of Khapra beetle in some shipments. In December 2014, a technical expert from Mexico visited Pakistan. However, the ban was not lifted.

Senator Saleem Mandviwalla said that rice stock worth $600 million was present in Mexico when the ban was imposed.

“All other countries, except Pakistan, were able to get the ban lifted,” he added.

Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood briefed the committee on EU GSP-Plus status. He said the Fourth Biennial Review of GSP Plus (2020-22) has commenced with the EU for monitoring the implementation of the 27 UN conventions.

The EU Monitoring Mission is expected to visit Pakistan next month.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2022

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