Daily The Business

Steel industry ignored in budget

By Our Staff Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Steel Line Industry Association (PSLIA) Khalid Jahangir Butt has said government has fully ignored Pakistan Steel Industry (PSI) in federal budget despite their repeated requests and pleas. In a statement issued here Wednesday Khalid Jahnagir Butt said “ we had pinned high hopes on incumbent government that it would provide level playing field to steel industry in the budget for the financial year 2019-20 but it could not be done so.
“ We sent applications to all the respective institutions, finance minister, revenue minister, chairman FBR, secretary finance, commerce secretary, secretary industries and production and member policy and repeatedly appealed to Prime Minister through media and despite it our appeals and efforts proved non productive”, he remarked.
Government either does not want to allow steel industry to revive or the three players are such powerful that they succeed in muffling our voice. Consequently government is going to suffer loss to the tune of Rs 100 billion or more ,he observed. Eversince this government has come to power the business system has gone paralyzed, he said adding some industries have no money to pay salaries to their employees. This state of affairs has put the job of millions of people associated with this industry at stake.
“We again appeal to government to review its policy keeping in view these problems so that the small industries could survive and millions of employees could be saved from becoming jobless, he held. He went on to say that “we appeal to PM to devise a balanced and equitable tax system for all flat steel industrial sector. If this formula is implemented it will earn additional 100 billion rupees revenue than the past formula. 3 percents sales tax which is being recovered at the time of sale should be added into 17 percent sales tax besides imposing 2 percent income tax on annual income rather than 1.25 percent. At what ratio both of these taxes will be implanted will be determined at elementary import stage. The income tax relief which is being given under section 148 be withdrawn at import stage. SRO 565 be abolished which is black law in terms of business, Shariah, ethics and justice so that an equal tariff could be implemented for all flat steel industries.
He said industries benefitting from SRO are carrying out extra ordinary exports. They don’t manufacture flat steel but they are importing goods like other flat steel industrialists. These three big players are making 80 percent imports. The remaining industries is paying full duty and tax at the rate of Rs 19000 per ton due to which their cost of production is more than the big players.
It is responsibility of competitive commission of Pakistan to control such matters and bring competition therein. If our appeal is not given heed then there are two options before us either we will file appeal against these steps in Supreme Court or we will lock up our industry and stage Dharna out

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