ISLAMABAD, April 7: The government is likely to further extend the temporary importation scheme allowed under SRO 410 on the persistent demand of importers, well-placed sources said on Thursday. They told Dawn that the facility, which will expire on June 30, 2005, was now expected to be extended indefinitely. The decision would be announced through a customs notification in the budget of 2005-06.

According to these sources, the commerce ministry has already recommended to the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) for further extension in the scheme.

Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan told Dawn that his ministry would propose further extension in the SRO in the upcoming budget.

He said that under the SRO the major beneficiaries were the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The minister said that until the duty and tax remission scheme was made more user friendly, the temporary importation scheme would be available to the SMEs.

Under the SRO 410, the government has allowed conditional exemption of customs duty and sales tax on temporarily imported goods meant for subsequent exports.

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