KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Younus Mohammad Bashir has expressed deep concern over Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)’s decision to impose Regulatory Duty (RD) on 61 more items and raising the RD on more than 300 items, which would not only result in triggering the inflation in local markets but would also promote smuggling of many of these items.
In a statement issued, Younus Bashir said, “Majority of these items like tea, coffee, diapers for infants and babies, cashew nuts, almonds, cocoa powder, pineapples, various garments, footwear, rubber or plastics etc. were already prone to smuggling and the imposition of RD will obviously discourage the legal importers and encourage smugglers to benefit from the situation.”
It seems that FBR’s decision to raise RD on 61 more imported items was unlikely to earn the anticipated revenue but it would surely result in enhancing the smuggling, he opined, adding that the negative consequences of such an unwise move would ultimately be borne by the common man who will have to pay more for many essential commodities being used frequently in every household.
President KCCI further argued that FBR claims of imposing taxes and RDs on luxurious items only but it seems that the list of newly added items contains products like tea, coffee, diapers for infants and babies, garments, footwear, rubber or plastics etc. which simply cannot be treated as luxury items.
He said that FBR may not be able to earn much from this move but it is going to have a severe impact on prices of all the goods including imported and local, as it has been observed from time to time that if RD on any imported product is raised, the prices of the same products being manufactured locally are also raised due to lack to effective price control and monitoring mechanism.
Bashir urged FBR to review its decision to impose and raise the regulatory duty on hundreds of imported goods, advised the Board to consult with the representatives of business and industrial community prior to taking such anti-people and anti-business decisions which not only affect the legal imports but also add more miseries to the lives of the masses.