Govt ‘tweaking’ tariff structure to boost local production

Commerce adviser says move aims to decrease the import bill under ‘Make in Pakistan Policy’


Our Correspondent May 05, 2020
Commerce adviser says move aims to decrease the import bill under ‘Make in Pakistan Policy’. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood has said that the ministry is aggressively working on making changes in the tariff structure for the upcoming budget to facilitate local production in a bid to decrease the import bill.

“The changes will help the local manufacturing sector under the ‘Make in Pakistan Policy’,” the adviser posted on his Twitter handle on Tuesday.

“The government wants to increase customs duties instead of direct income tax,” said Dawood, adding that it also wanted to document the non-tax businesses and bring them into the tax net.

The adviser said the government might not change export tariffs and tax slabs in the upcoming budget (2020-21).

He said the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic had changed the world. "We are reviewing the recent situation as now the business process will be completely different."

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Such a difficult period, he said, always brought about new opportunities, new products, and new ways of thinking. “It’s a golden opportunity for Pakistan to pursue the ‘Make in Pakistan Policy’.”

He said that the government was not oblivious to the fact that many businesses were on the verge of closure and several labourers were under the threat of losing their jobs due to the measures taken to stop the spread of Covid-19.

"Under these circumstances, the need of the hour is a policy whereby 'we do not import, but make products in Pakistan'."

Dawood said that even in the challenging situation, Pakistan had opened various sectors, including information technology and services, which attracted the world to Pakistani products.

He said Pakistan was receiving big orders of face masks and sanitisers. "We have also received huge orders for hydroxychloroquine and Pakistan has exported raw material to Germany and Turkey and one million tablets to Saudi Arabia," he said.

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