PSMC stockholders group appeal to protect steel mills dealers, commercial importers’ rights

Karachi, July 13, 2019: Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation (PSMC) Stakeholders Group has appealed to the government for protection of the fundamental rights of the Pakistan steel Mills Dealers, Commercial Importers, as against the discriminatory steel import tariff concession enjoyed by the Aaisha Steel, ISL, Auto development and others.

PSMC Stakeholders Group demanded Prime Minister Imran Khan for uniform Steel Import Policy for all Importers. During meeting with Prime Minister in Governor house, Shamoon Baqir Ali, Chairman, Karachi Iron and Steel Merchants Association (KISMA), pointed out Budget Anomalies and handing over important Proposals to Prime Minister on behalf of Governor Sindh, Imran Ismail for consideration, also demanded to abolish 5 percent additional Customs duty and Regulatory duty.

In Budget Anomalies, they said, in Budget 2019-2020, Customs duty increased from 2 percent to 7 percent on sudden basis, which will totally finish our business of secondary steel imports, as it already has a customs duty of 20 percent, regulatory duty of 5 percent, further increase in duty of 5 percent does not give us any chance to import the same.

This is to be noted that if we import prime material, additional customs duty is only 2 percent, then how can any importer of secondary material survive with an additional customs duty of 7 percent. We request and demand the withdrawal of the same immediately.

According to KISMA Budget Anomalies, Steels items, out of which most in quantity is imported in Pakistan i.e. not produced locally have RD imposed on it, however, they are not luxurious/non-essential items, moreover, only 3-4 entities are given relief of the same under SRO. 565(I)/2006 & its amendment via SRO. S.R.O.606(I)/2015 which causes billions of rupees losses to national exchequer every financial year, it was therefore proposed to either remove the RD on all imports, if not, it should be imposed on those given reliefs, also demanded to restore Zero-rating regime for five export-oriented sectors, which are considered the backbone of Pakistan’s export and  give final tax regime status to Commercial Importers.

It is highly impossible for anyone to get CNIC from their buyers epically when most people are uneducated and they don’t know for what reason their CNIC is being asked for and what purpose it will be used for, this condition alone as per the Finance Act 2019 is enough to halt the country’s economy.

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It makes no sense to put such a compulsion when all registered persons when selling to unregistered persons are paying 3 percent further tax, which is borne by the registered person itself, rather than the buyer, the taxpayers should not be further burdened with such a clause.

In Proposal, also mentioned that, it is currently a very serious issue that, loaded vehicles with steel coils, sheets are being stopped and detained at various customs checkpoints throughout the country, further the customs officials who stop the vehicle ask for different documents and charge further duties and taxes, if they are not compensated with, also they ask for various documents, however materials of our members are 100% duty and taxes paid.

It is high in our disfavour, if someone is dealing or smuggling goods, as we have no single member involved in such activities and the association also cannot at any point support such activities as our members pay 100 percent duties and taxes as levied on their imports, so any smuggled goods will affect our members/importers heavily, the attitude of customs authorities and their act is quite negative as any smuggled goods should be checked at the points they are entering the country for instance Chaman border or those coming through Afghan Transit, rather than stopping them at the borders or ports, our importers/members are being harassed while they ship to their customers in different parts of the country through inland transit, which shows the mala fide intentions of the Customs Authorities and their ill intentions to double charges our importers/members with duties and taxes.

Such kind of behaviour and treatment cannot at all be tolerated and accepted by us and will lead to the closure of our member’s businesses, therefore we strongly protest against this and demand that this issue should be resolved immediately.

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