Levy of duties aimed at reducing import bill, furthering growth: FBR

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 20 (APP):The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said Friday that the purpose of recently-levied duties was to reduce the import bill, provide enabling atmosphere for competition to local manufacturers and further economic growth of the country.
FBR maintained that during the current financial year, Pakistan had seen a surge in imports. In order to slow down the growth in the import of non-essential items or of the goods whose substitutes were locally produced, the government had imposed Regulatory Duty (RD) on such items, according to press statement issued here.
FBR had issued notification SRO 1035(I)/2017 dated October 16, 2017 in consultation with the Ministry of Commerce, which has imposed new RD on 26 items only (137 tariff lines) including new cars (less
than 1800 cc), plastic articles, Dry fruits, sun glasses, cigarette paper, tobacco, wall paper etc.
Moreover, rates of RD had been increased on 21 imported items only (219 tariff lines) including betel nuts
(Supari), betel leaves (Paan), cosmetics, fruit juices, tiles, footwear, tyres, handbags, tableware, kitchenware, and home appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators etc.
The rates of RD range from 10% to 30% on different items, which are generally consumed by affluent segment of the society.
The purpose of these duties was not the generation of revenue but to reduce the import bill of the country, the
statement added.
Moreover, the local manufacturers or producers of such items would be able to better compete with the imported
products, which was expected to improve Pakistan’s economic growth and provide more employment.
In addition, the RD collected would be utilized to finance the export package of the government which would help in enhancing Pakistan’s exports.
The statement added that an impression had been created that Regulatory duty was imposed on 731 items,
which is incorrect.
This SRO had replaced eight previous SROs of RD, and most of the items that appear in this notification were already subject to RD in the previous SROs.
The superseded notifications include SRO 568(I)/2014 dated June 26, 2014, 482(I)/2009 dated June 13, 2009, SRO 808(I)/2009 dated September 19, 2009, SRO 214(I)/2010 dated March 29, 2010 ,
SRO 1043(I)/2014 dated November 25, 2014, SRO 254(I)/2015 dated March 30, 2015,
SRO 393(I)/2015 dated April 30, 2015, and SRO 1248(I)/2015 dated December 17, 2015.