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July 19, 2019

PM urged not to withdraw FED on steel industry of tribal districts

Top Story

July 19, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The steel industry has written letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan and expressed stiff opposition to any move for abolishing or reducing Federal Excise Duty (FED) on steel units operating in tribal districts under political pressure.

On the other hand, the steel industry operating in tribal districts argued that the government promised exemption for this area but now they have imposed 17 percent FED. Efforts were made to convince the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, but the tax authorities refused to accept this demand. The FBR had argued that the steel produced in tribal districts was sold out in settled areas of the country so it would make other units un-competitive.

Now the parliamentarians from tribal districts are asking the government to withdraw this FED on steel and other sectors.

The Pakistan Association of Large Steel Producers (PALSP) appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to save the local steel industry from closure. The appeal has been communicated to the premier and FBR chief through a letter.

The text of the letter states that Pakistan’s steel industry is passing through the most critical phase of its history. Some of the top steel companies, who declared the best financial performance a year ago, are declaring heavy losses this year.

“This situation is pushing the steel industry to the brink of the ICU. Already, a large number of steel mills have closed down across the country, resulting in loss of hundreds and thousands of jobs as well as colossal loss of revenue to the country,” it further stated.

In this critical situation, the letter states that there are some indications that under the political pressure from tribal districts the government is considering to reduce or withdraw the FE that was levied on the steel units operating in merged districts.

The PALSP appealed to the government to not to resort to reduction or withdrawal of the FED on tribal districts as it will result in closure of the steel industry in the rest of the country/settled areas.

Merged tribal districts are blessed with plenty of natural resources; minerals, marble and gem stone as well as some of the best fruits are produced in this area of our country. The government has all the resources to encourage and support tribal districts in these sectors and to provide them relief, and give them complete tax-free status for unlimited period, so that value added products are produced for exports. Above all, relief to industry in any area in the country should not be at the cost of destruction of hundreds of steel units in the rest of the country, the letter concluded.

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