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Govt doubles regulatory duty on iron, steel imports to 30pc

By our correspondents
March 23, 2016

KARACHI: The government has revised up regulatory duty on import of iron and steel finished products by a whopping 15 percent in a bid to protect the local industry.  

The Ministry of Finance, in a notification on Tuesday, said the regulatory duty on import of iron and steel finished products was increased to 30 percent. 

Pakistan spent $1.813 billion on imports of iron and steel products in the last fiscal year of 2014/15, up approximately 17 percent over the preceding fiscal year, the State Bank of Pakistan data showed. The imports were highest in terms of value in the metal group with a total import bill of $3.246 billion.

Local steel industry has been raising hue and cry over the influx of steel products into the country. 

In January, the government slapped anti-dumping duties on some companies from China and Ukraine on the ground that they were dumping products in Pakistan at cheap prices. 

The National Tariff Commission of Pakistan imposed duties in the range of 8.31 and 19.04 percent on imports of cold-rolled coils and sheets from exporters based in China and Ukraine after a preliminary finding that they dumped two products during April 2014 to March 2015 into Pakistan. The NTC swung into action following a dumping complaint lodged by a local cold rolled coils/sheets producer Aisha Steel Mills Limited. 

“The domestic industry suffered a material injury on account of increase in volume of dumped imports, price undercutting, depression, and suppression, decline in market share, profits, sales, capacity utilisation and return on investment and negative effect on cash flow, inventories and ability to raise capital,” the commission’s official said in a note.

The government also notified 10 percent duty on import of aluminium alloys for the rest of the current fiscal year.

According to the latest notification, the revenue division also doubled import duty on monochrome, metal furniture and office/kitchen use wooden furniture to 30 percent. 

It said regulatory duty on other wooden furniture was raised to 25 percent from 10 percent.

“Import of plastic furniture will be subject to 30 percent regulatory duty instead of 15 percent till June 30, 2016, and bamboo or rattan furniture to 35 percent regulatory duty instead of 20 percent,” it added.

The finance ministry also notified 15 percent rise in regulatory duty on the import of electrical tables, desks and lamp stands.