New policy to eliminate tariff rate gap between commercial, industrial importers

New policy to eliminate tariff rate gap between commercial, industrial importers

ISLAMABAD: The gap of duty and tax rates between commercial importers and industrial importers will be eliminated under newly proposed tariff policy.

The National Tariff Policy 2019-2024 has proposed following measures for enforcement:

(i) These policy recommendations will be implemented in a period of five years starting from the Budget 2020-21;

(ii) The tariff slabs will be simplified based on the principle of cascading;

(iii) The tariffs on raw materials, intermediate and capital goods will be gradually reduced;

(iv) The additional customs duty and regulatory duties will be gradually reduced;

(v) The difference in the rates of tariff for the commercial importers and the industrial users of raw materials, intermediate and capital goods will be eliminated to reduce misuse of such differentials and to provide access to such essential materials for SMEs.

(vi) The nascent industry will be provided time-bound protection, which will cover the payback period of financing and investment. The protection will be phased out gradually to make the protection regime predictable and facilitate the investment decisions. Such protection levels will be provided through Investment Policy.

(vii) In order to implement these policy recommendations, the following arrangement will be instituted:

a. A Tariff Policy Board (TPB) chaired by the Commerce Minister/Advisor, with Minister for Industries & Production, Secretary Finance, Secretary Revenue, Chairman FBR, Secretary Commerce, Secretary Board of Investment, and Chairman NTC as its members shall be created. Secretary Commerce shall be the Member/Secretary of the Board. The TPB shall be responsible for formulation, amendment and implementation of the National Tariff Policy.

b. A Tariff Policy Centre shall be created in the Ministry of Commerce, which will serve as the Secretariat of the TPB.

c. All proposals for levy, amendment or removal of tariffs including regulatory duties and customs duties shall be examined at the Tariff Policy Centre and after approval of the Tariff Policy Board shall be submitted by the Commerce Division to the Cabinet or Parliament, as the case may be, for approval.

(viii) Any policy impacting tariffs or having tariff-like impact shall be formulated through the process mentioned at (vii) above.

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