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Govt working to rationalize tariffs structure: Abdul Razak Dawood

28 December, 2018

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Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry, Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood Thursday said that the government was working to rationalize tariffs structure and customs duties in the next mini-budget to be presented in January 2019 to facilitate the growth.

Addressing the business community at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the adviser said that the government would try to fix tariffs for 3-4 years to provide a clear future roadmap to the industry after rationalization of tariffs.

He said the new tariff policy would be industrialization-driven and not revenue-driven. He said in the last 10 years, deindustrialization and increase in trading had occurred in Pakistan due to unfavorable policies of the past regimes.

Abdul Razak Dawood said that the government was determined to put the country on the path of sustainable industrial growth. He said that Pakistan was depending on textiles for exports but its share in international market was reducing. He said that a concept note of industrial policy had been developed and new industrial policy would also promote other industries, including engineering, chemical, information technology and agriculture to diversify exports. He said that new industrial policy would support strategic industries and strengthen import substitution industries. He said that the government had planned to increase exports up to $50-$150 billion by facilitating export-oriented industries.

He said that government was planning to enhance exports of motorcycles, refrigerators, air conditioners to Africa and other countries.

In principle, he said, there should be no duty on import of raw material for manufacturing of export goods. “Similarly, there should be minimum duty on intermediaries but finished goods should have no concession.” He said Pakistan had signed FTAs and PTAs with five countries, but all FTAs were unfavorable for Pakistan except the one with Sri Lanka,.

He said that the government was working to revise FTAs with all countries and second phase of FTA with China would be completed by June 2019.

He said government was in discussion with many countries, including China, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and Turkey, to get more market access for Pakistani products. He said Indonesia had provided zero-rated market access to Pakistan on 20 items and added that business community should take benefit of the concession. He said that government was also working on ease of doing business and cost of doing business to make things easy for private sector. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had given a target to bring Pakistan from current 137 to below 100 in the ranking of ease of doing business.

He said his doors were open for business community and chambers/associations should give written proposals to remove hurdles and create facilitations for the private sector. Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President, Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that high production cost in Pakistan was a major hurdle in promoting exports.

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