NTC pledges to fix tradesnags, support exports

Chairman NTC after listening to the grievances being faced by the business community due to various anomalies in import/export tariffs

By Our Correspondent
April 23, 2024
This picture shows a general view of the Karachi sea port. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The National Tariff Commission (NTC) on Monday assured the business community that numerous issues highlighted by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) will be pondered by the NTC team in Islamabad and recommendations will be given to the government for rectification in the Federal Budget 2024-25.


Naeem Anwar, chairman NTC after listening to the grievances being faced by the business community due to various anomalies in import/export tariffs, anti-dumping duties and other countervailing measures, advised KCCI to submit details of all the issues in writing along with budget proposals at the earliest.

“No matter to whom KCCI sends its Budget Proposals in Islamabad, these are all forwarded to NTC for review by the Commission’s technical team which carefully analyzes, assesses repercussions and if found favorable for the economy, these proposals are forwarded to the government for inclusion in the budget,” Anwar said at a meeting with KCCI.

He said the NTC, which operates under NTC Act 2015, was duty-bound to get three of its laws effectively implemented which include anti-dumping law, subsidies countervailing law and safeguard measures to ensure growth for domestic industry, support manufacturing sector and obstruct unfair trade practices in imports.

“We try to ensure a coherent and integrated industrial & commercial policy for maximum economic growth.”Anwar said the budget compilation process was currently underway and the Commission has been receiving budget proposals from various stakeholders yet, he felt it necessary to visit KCCI for having face-to-face interaction with the business community to discuss and better understand their tariffs-related issues and seek suggestions.

To a query, he said that once a case has been approved by NTC, it leads to imposition of anti-dumping duty for a period of five years which may vary from 5 percent to 60 percent which results in discouraging the imports of any specific product to support the domestic industry.

“Similar was the case with subsidies countervailing measures as they are also imposed for a period of five years”, he said, adding that thanks to NTC’s anti-dumping and countervailing laws, several businesses have witnessed good growth.

After listening to the hardship being faced by representatives from paper industry, packaging industry, yarn merchants, automobile industry and others, Chairman NTC advised them to sit with NTC team in Islamabad to minutely discuss all the issues being faced by them due to unfair tariffs so that these could be reviewed and relief could be provided wherever needed.

Ibrahim Kasumbi, chairman special committee for budget proposals, said that several issues pertaining to current account deficit, fiscal deficit and other issues being faced by the economy could be easily controlled if prudent measures were adopted by NTC in consultation with stakeholders.

He said that although the NTC imposes anti-dumping duties to protect the interest of local manufacturers which was a good thing to do but it has been observed that such manufacturers continue to enjoy monopoly and do not bother to expand their production to cater to rising demand. "Hence, some kind of policy has to be introduced to compel manufacturers to stand on their feet by enhancing production and also export some portion of their finished goods whereas the anti-dumping duties should gradually be waived to support others particularly the SMEs."

Commenting on concessions and exemptions given to tea importers of FATA, PATA and Azad Kashmir, Kasumbi said that 50 percent of the country’s tea was being imported by four to five importers based in these areas whereas others were subjected to exorbitantly high tariffs as they have to pay 11 percent custom duty along with regulatory duty, sales tax and withholding tax etc. "To provide a level playing field, the exemptions and concessions given to FATA, PATA and Azad Kashmir should be abolished to support tax-compliant businessmen who have been paying all the taxes and duties."

He said that NTC’s policy towards the automobile sector also needs to be reviewed as this sector, despite protection, has failed to export even a single unit during the last 40 years whereas a small country like Morocco has been exporting vehicles.