Finance

PM urged to reduce import duty on paper

Karachi, June 27, 2022: Abid Nisar, Former Vice-Chairman, All Pakistan Paper Merchants Association, Former Chairman, Import & Anti-Smuggling subcommittee KCCI, while expressing deep concern over high paper prices and huge paper crises, has appealed to Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, to save the printing industry from disaster, and demanded reduction of duty on import of paper.

In an appeal, Abid Nisar also demanded PM for the suspension of duty-free import of printed books, printed materials from abroad so that Pakistan’s 2nd largest printing industry can be saved from disaster. Otherwise, the jobs of millions of people will be in jeopardy.

He pointed out that due to high taxes on imported paper, significant devaluation of rupee, the soaring dollar and becaf the profiteering of local paper mills, a severe paper crisis has erupted across the country as a result the prices of paper are skyrocketing.

“Due to the sharp rise in the value of the dollar, paper import deals have become a losing proposition as the delivery of imported raw material is usually in 3 months. Therefore, the devaluation of the rupee, and the constant appreciation of the dollar in Pakistan has more than doubled the cost of importing paper. Importers are worried about who to sell these expensive goods to”, he afraid.

Abid said, “Importers play an important role in meeting the production demand of the printing industry. However, due to profiteering of local paper mills and increase in paper prices by up to 200%, printing of textbooks was not possible. As a result, textbooks will not be available to children, and even if available, they would be beyond the purchasing power of the people due to the expense.”

Abid Nisar revealed that the books imported from abroad are duty free which are being printed and imported from other countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia while all kinds of printed materials are also duty free due to which the printing industry is on the verge of collapse. The printing industry employs a large number of people. It is a tragedy that there is no duty on import of printed books and printed materials from abroad.

In contrast, the Government imposed a duty of about 70% on the imported paper, which was the raw material for printing books and printed materials so it is very unfair. He pointed out that import duty on import paper is 20%, sales tax is 17%, customs duty is 20%, anti-dumping duty is 29% and additional duty is 6% while in the federal budget 2022-23, the duties had been further increased.

Abid Nisar appealed to Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail to reduce import duty on paper to save Pakistan’s printing industry, and paper import sector from disaster. He also requested for the suspension of free exemption on import of printed books and printed materials and to impose the duty so that the prices of paper can be reduced, and the wheel of Pakistan’s local industry cannot be jammed, and the employment of millions of workers can be secured.

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