Nine associations form new alliance

Karachi: A group of nine associations have formed ‘All Pakistan Alliance of Associations’ to evolve a joint strategy on issues being faced by the business community.

The announcement of forming a new alliance of the associations was made during a meeting on Monday, which was convened by All Pakistan Paper Merchants’ Association Chairman Mohammad Anis.

The associations which participated in the meeting were All Pakistan Paper Merchants’ Association, Pakistan Association of Printing & Graphic Arts Industry, Tea & Milk Association, Pakistan Chemical and Dyes Merchants’ Association, Yarn Merchants’ Association, Steel Association, Tiles Association, Tyre Association, and Electronic Market Association.

The meeting also elected Mohammad Saleem Bikiya from All Pakistan Paper Merchants’ Association as Chairman and Usman Nathani of Yarn Merchants’ Association as Vice-Chairman of the alliance.

The meeting discussed tax anomalies/discrimination of tariff between commercial and industrial imports, delay/unrealistic customs valuation rulings, unlimited time period for taking decision by the valuation department, pre-budget proposals and “unlawful” raids on the industrial premises by RTO Karachi.

The meeting was attended by Haroon Agar, former President KCCI, Khawaja Arif Kapoor, Idrees Memon, Amin Lasani, Mohammad, Ibrahim Kasumbi, Mohammad Naseer and members of different associations.

Haroon Agar said that the purpose of forming a new alliance was to take up key issues with the government jointly.

He said that the tariff difference between commercial and industrial imports had crippled the business viability of the small and medium sectors.

Another participant of the meeting while referring to Pakistan Customs Tariff (CH 48 of Customs Act, 1969) said that paper imported by both commercial and industrial importers was consumed by the industry in a similar manner for manufacturing of finished goods. However, a commercial importer paid 17 percent sales tax besides 3 percent advance value addition tax and 6.5 percent withholding tax at customs stage, whereas the industrial importers paid value addition at later stage and income tax according to declaration, he added.

“This encourages unscrupulous commercial importers to import the raw material under the guise of manufacturers,” he added.