Call to remove regulatory duty on imported tiles

Karachi, May 20, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has invited the attention of the ministry of commerce that on the one hand the government is promoting housing industry and on the other hand imposing regulatory duties on tiles which is an important item of the construction business.

UNISAME has urged the government not to treat tiles as a luxury item and remove regulatory duty on imported tiles to promote the housing industry in right earnest. The tiles importers who are mostly SMEs have informed UNISAME that they are badly affected by the imposition of regulatory and dumping duty.

The SME tile importers are paying duty from 30% to 37.5% on different varieties They are still paying regulatory duty of 15% which was imposed on luxury items in 2009-2010 and removed in 2011-12 from all items but not removed on 4 items namely tiles, cars , arms and ammunition and betel nuts. The SMEs fail to understand why the government has included regulatory duty on tiles.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said tiles is not a luxury item it is necessity of small and big houses , shops , hospitals , schools and tiles is also one of the main condition of ISO certification for factories as tiled flooring keeps the products hygienically safe from dust and infection. Without tiled flooring the factories are not able to get their factories approved for export contracts and come under non compliance rules and regulations.

The tile importers group led by Javed Tarmohommed informed the UNISAME chief that the National Tariff Commission (NTC) imposed anti dumping duty on Chinese tiles and now they are working for imposing anti dumping duty on other origins also which is unfair and uncalled for. The local tile manufacturers have influenced the government and tile importers are paying duties under import tariff prices which are also higher than genuine price which is again based on unfair practices.

In Pakistan there are only 7 factories manufacturing tiles and they are producing to full capacity and they are increasing their production capacity due to heavy demand which they are unable to meet and there is need for imported tiles to meet the demand both quality wise and price wise. Since last year big volume of tiles is being smuggled from Iran due to high tariff rates of duty and taxes which is again effecting genuine importers and the government is also losing on import duties.

Javed Tarmohommed said that the SME tile importers are trying to raise their voice from different forums but it is reported that since one vice president of the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCC and I) is also a manufacturer of tiles so this year in their federal budget proposal they proposed government for continuation of regulatory duty on tiles and also for tiles to be removed from Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China which clearly shows their vested interest against business of SMEs.

UNISAME urged the government to seriously consider the injustice and remove the regulatory duty on imported tiles to enable the SME tile importers survive and continue their business as they are being troubled by the smugglers on one side and on the other by the vested interest of the big local tile manufacturers.

For more information, contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Phones: + 92 35884225 and 6
Cell: + 92 300 8245307 and + 92 321 8245307
Fax: + 92 35380642

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