Islamabad, June 13, 2019 (PPI-OT): The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the government to remove all customs and regulatory duties on the primary raw material of steel industry like melt able steel scrap in the budget to counter the cost increase caused by currency devaluation, interest rate hike, raise in power tariff and new taxation measures.
Rafat Farid, Acting President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that government has abolished the special procedures of sales tax for steel industry in the budget 2019-20, however, he stressed that government should come up with some policy interventions for reducing the cost of doing business for this important industry so that it could play more effective role in the economic development and exports of the country. He said that if duties on re-melt able scrap were not removed, capacity utilizations of steel industry would decrease leading to drastic fall in government revenue.
He emphasized that government should provide a level playing field between various sectors of steel industry including steel melting, re-rolling, ship breaking and other downstream sectors. He said there were various tax anomalies due to which substitute products have different tariff structures that created distortions in the market.
He said re-rollable scrap was a substitute product for ship plate and steel billet manufactured by the ship breaking and steel melting industries. However, there were different import duties on re-rollable scrap and steel billets while sales tax levied on steel melting sector was higher than that levied on the ship breaking sector. He urged that government should remove these tax anomalies in steel industry in the new budget for creating a level playing field.
ICCI Acting President said that government should facilitate the steel industry through a policy change in sales tax refund adjustment that would enable it to explore export channels. He said that currently steel companies were not exploring export prospects as there was no clear mechanism for them to get sales tax refunds in a timely manner. He was of the view that steel products could be exported if government ensured timely payment of sales tax refund to steel industry.
For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-2250526, 2253145, 8432676
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