KARACHI: President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, while supporting the demand of milk powder importers & processors, urged the government to announce reduction in import duty of skimmed milk, whey milk and fat filled milk from the existing 25 percent to 15 percent in the forthcoming budget for fiscal year 2015-16.
Exchanging views with a delegation of Milk Power Importers & Processors led by former President KCCI Haroon Agar, Iftikhar Vohra stated that the government must consider this reasonable demand in order to bring down the prices of this important household commodity with a view to provide relief to the masses who are already overburdened because of the inflation.
He was of the opinion that besides providing relief to the masses, the reduction in import duty of skimmed milk, whey milk and fat-filled milk would also help in dealing with smugglers who use illegal channels including the Afghan Transit Trade to supply this household product in the Pakistani markets. “Smuggling of this essential commodity not only allows the undocumented economy to flourish but also causes severe losses to the national exchequer”, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, the delegation members of Milk Powder Importers and Processors informed that in addition to the exorbitant 25 percent import duty on skimmed milk, whey milk and fat-filled milk, they were also paying additional regulatory duty of 10 percent and 6 percent income tax.
Seeking KCCI’s assistance in convincing the government to reduce import duty to 15 percent, they noted that smuggling of milk powder has adversely affected the businesses of legitimate commercial importers who have been making substantial contribution to the national kitty by paying customs duties and other taxes such as income tax and regulatory duties etc.
They said that reduction from 25 to 15 percent in import duty of milk powder, which is the basic necessity of every household, will surely provide much needed relief to the entire populace of Pakistan especially the infants who may become target of malnutrition due to the exorbitant prices of milk powder.
They further mentioned that local production of skimmed milk, whey milk and fat filled milk was clearly insufficient to meet the rising local demand. Thus, the commercial importers of this essential household commodity were playing a commendable key role to avoid any shortages of the essential household products in the Pakistani markets. The government must understand the sufferings of common man being caused by the exorbitant import duty and consider reducing the same in the forthcoming budget which would not only help in minimizing the hardship being faced by the public but will also effectively tackle with the menace of smuggling.