Ship-breakers urge FBR to withdraw ‘controversial’ SROs

Say notifications will force them to close shop.

Our Correspondent April 02, 2013
The SRO 243 removed ship-breaking industry from the ambit of special procedures. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The ship-breaking industry has urged the government to withdraw controversial notifications issued recently by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and provide a level-playing field against the steel re-melting industry.

The Pakistan Ship-Breakers Association (PSBA) staged a protest outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC), where it warned the FBR that if their demands stayed unmet, they will be left with no choice but to close down the industry.

Later, while speaking to journalists at a press conference, the PSBA alleged that their industry was being discriminated against by the FBR.

“An attempt is being made to cripple the ship-breaking industry, which provides direct employment to over25,000 workers in the underdeveloped region of Balochistan at Gadani,” PSBA alleged.

PSBA said that the FBR gave undue advantage in the rates of income tax and sales tax to the steel re-melting industry through recently issued statutory regulatory order (SRO) 140(1)/2013 and SRO 243(1)/2013 dated March 26, 2013.

Elaborating on the SROs, PSBA Chairman Dewan Rizwan Farooqui said, “Previously, the ship-breaking industry had been paying 1% income tax, but now we have been asked to pay 5%, which means an increase of 500% in income tax.”

The other notification, SRO 243, removed ship-breaking industry from the ambit of special procedures.

Farooqui said that since both industries were in direct competition, the FBR’s notification had given one an advantage over the other. “This could become the cause of closure of the ship-breaking business,” he said.

The PSBA warned that if FBR does not withdraw the notifications, the ship-breaking industry will be forced to close down operations and this will directly hit the construction industry as prices of steel will shoot up from Rs65,000 per ton presently to Rs80,000 per ton.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2013.

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Asad Shairani | 8 years ago | Reply

I'm just amazed you found a Steve McCurry picture in your 'files'! Copyrights, anyone?!

just_someone | 8 years ago | Reply

These ship breaking owners have some nerve to cry about this. They have been paying one percent tax when the other tax paying people pay 30-40% tax. They are having a holiday adn they complain that holiday is being cut short just a tiny bit. As it is, these owners of ship breaking companies treat their workers worse than dogs. workers die, get cancer through asbestos, etc. It has been reported that they are not even provided googles or hard hats and the wages they are paid are below the minimum wage set by the government. I saw increase the taxes on them to bring them on par with the rest of the country. They have been stealing from the country and its people blatantly, let them pay back like the regular folks!

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