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Jul 03 - 09, 2000

Trade policy announced

The government has announced a number of incentives for importers and exporters in the new trade policy by setting a $10 billion export target for 2000-2001, 17% higher than the last year.

Announcing the policy on radio and television on Wednesday Federal Commerce Minister Razzak Daud said that the requirement of opening of letter of credit before shipment had been done away with.

The actual users could now import any item up to the limit of $5,000 per annum, the minister said.

Earlier in the day a joint meeting of the federal cabinet and the National Security Council (NSC) had discussed and approved the policy.

Mr Daud said advance payment facility had been provided for all importable goods upto $5,000 in the new policy. For industrial users, the minister said, the limit had been enhanced to $15,000 in case of air freighted spares/machinery.

Shelve life and other labelling requirements for edible products had been simplified, the minister said.

Procedures for import of ozone depleting substances had been made more transparent. The EPZ units were being allowed to sell/export to the tariff area (a) waste upto 3 per cent of FOB value of export, (b) vehicles not less than five years old, and (c) imported goods in the same state subject to the provisions of the Imported Trade Procedure Order.

The minister added the procedural requirements for certain restricted goods had been simplified so that an importer did not have to obtain NOCs from several government offices. Car (gift and baggage) rules had been simplified and it had also been decided to do away with the L/C margin requirement on imports, he said.

The $10 billion export target, according to the minister, will be achieved through a sustainable and consistent growth in export earnings. Diversification of export base and achievement of greater value addition in the goods and services will also be important part of the new policy.

Import duty on fans, air-conditioners raised to 35pc

Import duty on electric fans, battery chargers, airconditioners and electric distribution machinery/equipment, and plastic/leather products has been increased to the highest customs tariff rate of 35%.

A CT-2000 list of rates issued by CBR says that the following items of AC machines have been put at 35%: split type; window or wall types self-contained ACs in CKD or SKD conditions (motor vehicles ACs at 25%); those incorporating or not a refrigerating unit; other parts; evaporators; condensers; air handling units.

Duty rate of 35% has also been announced on import of battery chargers; mobile phone chargers, electric power adapter having an output up to 24V; other such adaptors and their parts; and electric accumulators including separators therefore whether or not rectangular, lead-acid of a kind used starting piston engines, and other lead-acid accumulators and traction has also been put at 35%.

Electric fans items put at 35% duty rate have been specified as follows: table, floor, wall, window, ceiling or roof fans with self-contained electric motor of an output not exceeding 125W. Their parts have been put at 25%.

Duty on syringes, ball points

Import duty of 25% has been imposed on syringes and ball points and related items. The duty rates announced by the CBR through a list of new tariff rates applicable for 2000-2001 stipulate that syringes with or without needles have been put at 25% (ad val) rate of import duty. The same rate will apply to tubular metal needles and needles for sutures; dental drilling engines. The dextrose and saline infusion giving sets imported along with empty non-toxic bags for infusion solution would be charged import duty at Rs2 a set plus 25% ad val.

Import Duty rate of 25% has been announced for ball point pens, felt-tipped and other porous-tipped pens and markers, fountain pens, stylograph pens and other

Pens, duplicating stylos, propelling or sliding pencils, pen-holders, pencil-holders and similar holders, and their parts including caps and clips.

Export of yarn, grey cloth to suffer

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has strongly criticised the abrupt and complete withdrawal of export refinance facility on yarn and grey cloth in the 2000-01 trade policy.

Chairman APTMA, Mohsin Aziz, in a statement, said that yarn and grey cloth comprise 42 per cent of the total textile exports of the country. Export refinance is a significant incentive tool for promoting export of yarn and grey cloth in increasingly competitive in global market.

He said the withdrawal could jeopardise a very significant portion of country's textile exports particularly when other countries offer export refinance facility on these products at very low interest rates.

Regulatory Duty on import of 11 items

The Central Board of Revenue has announced imposition of Regulatory Duty on import of 11 items and has increased the duty rate of 17 items to protect the local industry.

These changes have been made by inducting 11 items into the Customs Schedule by taking them out of the Central Excise schedule, and by introducing new Customs Tariff headings for the financial year 2000-2001.

Indonesia proposes re-export system

The visiting Indonesian minister for trade and industry, Luhut B. Pandjaitan, has proposed a new trade arrangement between his country and Pakistan under which Jakarta will export 16 items for re-export, after suitable value addition at Karachi, to the markets of Middle East and Central Asian states.

The Indonesian minister said that he would discuss this proposal in detail with his Pakistani counterpart, Razzak Dawood. He said a joint Pakistan-Indonesia economic committee could be set up to develop and refine his idea for mutual benefit.