President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) Ahmed Hassan Moughal has said that the industry was importing lot of raw material for manufacturing of products, but due to sharp fall in value of rupee, the import of industrial raw material has become costly leading to enhanced production cost.
In a statement issued here on Tuesday, Ahmed Hassan Moughal called upon the government to make further cut in import duty on industrial raw material in the forthcoming budget so as to bring down production cost and help in improving exports.
He said that the government was considering to further enhance regulatory duty on about 1900 items in order to improve the revenue collection. However, he urged that government should not make any increase in RD on the import of industrial raw material, rather it should further cut import duty on raw material for industry that would be helpful in promoting industrial activities and exports.
The President ICCI said that without reducing production cost, it was very difficult for Pakistani exports to compete effectively in international market and added that reducing import duty on industrial raw material would facilitate in achieving this goal.
Senior Vice President ICCI Rafat Farid and Vice President Iftikhar Anwar Sethi said that the economy of Pakistan was confronted with serious challenges and one good option to steer the country out of these problems was to make significant increase in exports.
However, they said that due to falling value of rupee, high energy cost and other factors, cost of doing business in Pakistan has increased manifold due to which our exports were not growing for the last many years. They said that Pakistan’s exports improved from $10 billion in 2003 to just $22 billion by 2017 while the exports of India during the same period improved from just $59 billion to $296 billion, Vietnam’s from $20 billion to 214 billion and Bangladesh’s from $6 billion to $41 billion.
The ICCI office bearers urged that government in the forthcoming budget should take specific steps for promotion of exports and reduce duty on import of industrial raw material that would go a long way in improving country’s exports, creating new jobs, promoting industrialization and improving country’s tax revenue.