The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) members arranged a press conference on Saturday 9th of November 2019 and said that the government must reduce taxes and duties on imports to boost the economy. They argued that the government has started to tax the industrial raw materials and machinery, which has caused a rise in the input costs and has rendered the industry uncompetitive.
The President of ICCI Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, Senior Vice President Mr.Tahir Abbasi and Vice President Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman, said in a joint statement that the government has put taxes and duties on the import of raw material and machines, which are required for production. They added that the raw material and new technologies are required for the production process and increase in their prices has caused an overall slowdown in the industrial sector and hence the economy.
They argued that it has been proven time and again that reduction in tariffs on imports and rationalization of tax causes an increase in the economic activity. They further said that all the developing economies around the world have reduced the tariffs on industry raw material imports, which has boosted their economy.
They said that from 2001 to 2014 the tariffs on imports reduced by almost 20% and in the meanwhile the exports of the country increased from $9.2 billion to around $25 billion. After 2014, the government started to increase tariffs on imports, and the exports started to decline.
The ICCI President said that revenues from tariffs on imports in Pakistan are 13% of the total tax revenues, whereas in Malaysia they are 1.6%, 2% in Turkey, 2.5% in Indonesia. 3.9% in South Korea, 4.3% in Thailand and 4.6% in China.