Pakistan only country with highest duty and taxes on paper: PAPGAI

Karachi, September 05, 2022: Pakistan stands out as the only country with the highest duty and taxes on paper yet the industry indirectly contributes 6-7% in the country’s exports.

“The basic raw material (mainly imported paper) has duties and taxes of over 60%,” said Chairman Pakistan Association of Printing and Graphic Arts Industry (PAPGAI) Aziz Khalid while talking to media on the second day of PrintPak Exhibition at Karachi Expo Center on Sunday.

He added that duty and taxes on raw material of flexible printing is considerably high as well.

“Tariff structuring is such that there is minimum taxation and duty on printed material in comparison to over 60% duty and taxes on imported raw material, paper,” said Aziz.

As a result, he added, the industry loses the opportunity of acquiring and serving the domestic publishing sector as they find much cheaper solutions from counties like China and Malaysia.

“The domestic publishers sourced over 7,000 tons of books in 2018 which is turning out to be an alarming trend for the industry,” said Aziz.

He said that PAPGAI has been very loud and clear in explaining this anomaly on every forum like National Tariff Commission (NTC), Senate & National Assembly Standing Committee, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), and Ministry of Commerce.

“Still, this industry has great potential of not only providing employment opportunities but it can directly contribute to the country’s foreign exchange if prompt rationalization of tariff and duty structuring is initiated,” said Khalid.

He added that the literacy rate of Pakistan is very low where access to education is costly due to high prices of text books but this pricing can be rationalized if right government policies are adopted to reform the tariff and duty structure applicable on paper.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan still falls within the world’s lowest Paper & Paperboard consuming countries as currently Paper & Paperboard products’ consumption in Pakistan is close to two Million tpa, which works out to less than 10 kg per capita consumption against world average per capita consumption of 57 kg while in developed economies it is over 250 kg.

India with more or less identical life style and economic condition of the masses has already crossed 13 kg per capita consumption level.

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