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LCCI urges govt to cut RD on smuggling-prone items

By Our Special Correspondent

LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the government to slash Regulatory Duty (RD) on smuggling-prone items to discourage the illegal trade.
High rate of duties and taxes always encourage illegal trade which harms the local industries besides causing huge loss to the national exchequer, said LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid while talking to the LCCI Executive Committee Member Awais Saeed Piracha in the presence of LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed and Vice President Zeshan Khalil.
Malik Tahir Javaid said it would be wiser if the government abolishes Regulatory Duty on smuggling-prone items as smuggling is costing the national exchequer in billions.
Markets across the country are flooded with smuggled goods and local industries are struggling for survival as smuggled goods are not only easily available everywhere but are also attracting the buyers who prefer foreign merchandise.
Awais Saeed Piracha informed the LCCI President that demand of redial & non-redial tyre of truck/bus was 2.5m and 0.3m respectively during the financial year 2017-18 against the legal import of 1,150,823 and 153,000 tyres respectively. Local production of redial & non-redial tyres during the same period remained zero and 48,564 respectively. Thus shortfall of 1,446,013 was met by smuggling. Likewise shortfall of 1,903,971 tyres of light truck and 3,323,254 tyres of passenger cars met by smuggling.
Malik Tahir Javaid said that the causes of smuggling are actually the incentives which motivate people to engage in smuggling.
These causes basically arise from the desire of consumers to satisfy their needs.
He said that people who use smuggled goods, satisfy their need to purchase desired goods. On the other hand, people, who supply the illicit smuggled goods, seek to satisfy their income needs. He said that smuggling is also encouraged by the large tax rates difference between neighbouring countries. This means that goods are cheaper in one country than other, resulting in enactment of import duties to protect the local industries.
This scenario encourages smuggling. Administration associated with the excise tax can also be complicated costly, adding an extra burden on the importers.

He suggested that in order to control the cross border smuggling, scanners should be installed at the border checkpoints.
He said that a lot of smuggling is done on the land routes of Chaman and Landi Kotal. Effective checking at the customs check posts can play an imperative role in curbing the smuggling on these routes.

The check-posts should be established on every 50 to 100 km distance on the roads heading into the country from chaman and Landi Kotal. Multiple check posts would hinder the easy flow of various smuggled items e.g. tyres, hence discouraging easy smuggling of items on these routes. To minimum the risk of connivance, the duties of the collectors should be rotated after short intervals.
Malik Tahir Javaid said that only honest and upright officers should be posted at Pak-Afghan and Pak-Iran borders. There should be a proper mechanism, using the intelligence department to monitor the honesty of the officers. He said that extremely strict punishment should be given to the officials involved in directly and indirectly assisting the smugglers.
LCCI condoles Kalsoom’s death

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has expressed deep grief and sorrow over demise of Begum Kalsoom Nawaz.
The LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid, Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed and Executive Committee Members said that entire life of Begum Kalsoom Nawaz was full of commitment and services for the ailing humanity. Nation will always remember her services.
They said that demise of Begum Kalsoom Nawaz was an irreparable loss and prayed to the Almighty Allah to keep the departed soul in peace and let the family bear this irreparable loss with fortitude.

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