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ICCI demands more lenient import policy to promote business activities

Islamabad, JAN 3 /DNA/ – Faad Waheed, Acting President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has lauded the initiative of State Bank of Pakistan for relaxing some restrictions on imports and allowing imports pertaining to HS Code Chapter 84, 85 and certain items of Chapter 87 from 2nd January 2023, which would facilitate in improving manufacturing and business activities. However, he said that the economy of Pakistan needs to boost exports for which it is important that the SBP should further relax import restrictions and adopt a more lenient import policy as many export-oriented industries have to import raw materials and intermediate goods to produce the finished products. He expressed these views while talking to a delegation of the business community. Group leader Khalid Iqbal Malik, Mian Shaukat Masud, Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi, Hamayun Kabir, Sheikh Muhammad Ejaz, Dr. Muhammad Usman, Faseeh Ullah Khan, Ashfaq Chatha, Khalid Chaudhry and others were in the delegation. Faad Waheed said that the collection at the import stage contributes almost 50 percent of the total revenue collection. However, the restricted imports policy is badly affecting the tax collection of the country as the loss in revenue collection at the import stage varies between Rs.30 billion to Rs.50 billion per month. He said that if the imports are not further relaxed, the contractionary policy will further impact the revenue collection in the coming months. He stressed that the SBP should take the major chambers of commerce and industry of the country including ICCI on board to make further relaxations in imports so that the business activities can flourish and exports can be further increased to improve the meagre forex reserves of the country. Engr. Muhammad Azhar ul Islam Zafar, Vice President ICCI said that the FBR has missed its collection target for December by almost 24 percent i.e. Rs.225 billion mainly due to sharp drop in imports. It shows that the import contraction policy is not producing beneficial outcomes for the economy and emphasized that the SBP should consider making it more lenient to promote business and investment activities in the country.

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