Industrial Raw Materials Must Be Prioritized Over Luxury Items Irfan Iqbal Sheikh
Karachi (PR): Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, has expressed his concerns over the lack of facilitation and fair environment to the distributors &merchants of industrial raw materials; who play an indispensable role in the export growth and import substitution alike. He was speaking at a session with large-scale merchants from the platform of Pakistan Chemical & Dyes Merchants Association (PCDMA) at Federation House.
Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh maintained that the chemical merchants must be brought into Normal Tax Regime (NTR) instead of it current status of being in the Minimum Tax Regime (MTR) for the past two years; when it was removed from Final Tax Regime (FTR). He also proposed that in order to fight the menace of flying invoices in the sector, the condition of customer CNIC copy should be exempted and the turnover tax should be brought down to 1.0 percent immediately; from the current level of 1.25 percent. Going forward, it should be brought down to 0.5 percent gradually, he added.
FPCCI Chief explained that the traders and middlemen in the industrial raw material supply chain must be facilitated as those are the ones that help keep the wheel of industrial production running; support export-oriented industries to meet consignment deadlines; assist to establish new industries and contribute to preserving precious foreign exchange reserves through import substitution.
Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh emphasized that the state institutions have been neglecting the merchants of industrial raw materials; but, in fact, they should be much more facilitated than those of the importers of luxury goods like cars, mobile phones, branded clothing, high-end food products, etc.
Mr. Kamran Riaz Bharara, Chairman of Pakistan Chemical & Dyes Merchants Association (PCDMA), mentioned that the imposition of 4.5 percent Withholding Tax (WHT) on the sales by the middlemen in the supply chain of the industrial raw materials– who buy from the commercial importers – is counterproductive as it raises the cost of doing business and squeezes the profit margins even further. This is also a substantive impediment in the government’s policy to establish a robust, efficient and reliable supply chain for the industries.
Brig Iftikhar Opel, SI (M), Retd.