KARACHI: The newly appointed National Tariff Commission (NTC) is likely to announce the decision of imposition of anti-dumping duty on import of ceramic tiles from China on August 15, 2015. NTC Chairman Abbas Raza had called both the factions for hearing earlier this month in Islamabad to further proceed the case wherein importers attended the hearing while local tiles manufacturers have abstained and plead for adjournment as they are yet to appoint a lawyer. NTC has fixed July 27, as the new date for hearing following which the decision would be announced in two weeks time.
Local tiles manufacturers flayed the government over making ceramic and porcelain tiles part of FTA with China, saying that it shows the ignorance of the policy makers about the potential of the local industry that has invested Rs40 billion in the sector so far.
Pakistan Ceramic Manufacturers Association (PCMA) maintained that the tile production capacity in Pakistan is over 60 million square meters while capacity utilization is far below due to influx of smuggled tiles and abnormally low ITPs. A study done by the National Tariff Commission also indicated that there is serious injury to the local industry and dumping duty should be placed on tiles from China.
PCMA asked the government to remove anomalies in import trade price (ITP) for imported tiles to save local tiles industry from complete destruction, besides imposing anti-dumping duty on Chinese tiles. “The tiles are being imported at low rates, while the ITPs have been decreased instead of increasing from 2010 to 2015. This situation has reached a point where it is playing havoc with the local industry, the association pointed out.
The importers’ representatives Chairman Pakistan Ceramics Importers and Traders Association (PCITA) Mohammad Amin Lasania and Chairman Customs and Taxation Committee, Jawed Tar Mohammad who attended the NTC hearing said that manufacturers’ claim carried no weight as they simply do not have the capacity to meet the demand of ceramic tiles as they manufacture less than half the production as compared to the demand in the local market.
“Local manufacturers lag far behind in design and quality of the tiles as compared to China, Iran, Malaysia and other countries”, Jawed said adding that as far as price is concerned, India offers $2 to $5.5 per square meter as compared to Pakistani manufacturers as they sell their tiles at a high price of $5 to $10 per square meters. He said that similarly Iran and China are selling their latest design tiles at $3 to $5.5 per meter. The question of injury to local manufacturers due to Chinese tiles’ import simply does not arise, Lasania said. He advised the local manufacturers to improve their designs and quality as per market requirement if they want to stay in the market.