to Karachi in search of job way back in 1952. Despite his best efforts
he was unable to find gainful employment as he had no experience and
hardly any education — having finished only eight grade and that too
from a Urdu medium school. After year-and-half of unfruitful job search
he went back home only to return in 1954. This time around he managed to
find a job as a dispatch clerk with a public cooperative bank to
dispatch cotton and silk yarn to upcountry. He worked there for three
years until the bank closed when the government permitted the private
sector to deal in cotton and silk yarn. He soon found a job as tyre
salesman which involved traveling from city to city. He soon realized
the importance of English understanding fully that without improving his
English language skills prospects of better future would always elude
him. He rose to the position of the manager and quit it in early 1960s
to start a tyre import business in partnership with two others. Today
his company is the leading tyre importers and sole distributors of
internationally known tyres and rubber-related products as well as
computer hardware and business technology, a diversification. He has
been elected the chairman of Pakistan Tyre Importers and Dealers
Association a number of times has also served as vice chairman of a
number of Standing Committees of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of
Commerce and Industry (FPCCI). His company has also been awarded the
'Best Performance Trophy' by the FPCCI twice.
tightened border with Afghanistan helped reduce tyre smuggling?
it has made no impact on the nefarious trade. In fact, the smuggling
seems to have increased in the recent years. Previously only the truck
and bus tyres were being smuggled but today light truck and car tyres
are being increasingly finding their way into the local markets.
aren't the borders sealed?
They are, but the stress is only on crossing of borders by humans and
not goods. The nefarious trade still offers incentives to smugglers to
push all types of tyres and related rubber products into the country.
The high duties and taxes on tyres — 35-50 per cent on truck and bus
tyres and as much as 50 per cent on light truck and car tyres — offers
the nefarious elements to keep pushing tyres into the country. Compared
to this heavy incidence of duties and taxes the overall expenses borne
by smugglers is a low 15 per cent, thus offering them great financial
rewards even if risky.
were included in the negative list of Afghan Transit Trade Agreement.
Hasn't that discourage the smuggling?
is a land locked country and is thereby dependent on neighbouring
countries to facilitate its foreign trade. The inclusion of tyres, among
with many other items having little use in Afghanistan, in the negative
list of the ATT has failed to stop smuggling because smugglers have
access to parallel routes. Basically there are three major routes;
Pakistan, Central Asian States and Iran, the first two are not used by
the smugglers. However, the nefarious elements has find it convenient to
import tyres through Iranian port of Bander Abbas from where it reaches
Uslam Qila and Herat in Aghanistan and ultimately finds it way into
Pakistan through Chaman in Balochistan. The tyres imports to Afghanistan
are primary aimed at the Pakistani market.
legal imports and local manufacturing fare against smuggling?
In term of value, between $ 100-120 million of tyres are being smuggled
into the country annually at present which is higher than even the legal
imports and local manufacturing combined — imports around $ 60 million
and local manufacturing $ 40 million. One of the great cause of concern
is that Indian tyres have been able to create a niche in the local
market resulting in an unwelcomed dependency. Most of the tyres smuggled
into the country come from Japan while India and Europe are the top
second and third beneficiary. Smuggled tyres are thus helping fuel the
growth of the Indian tyre industry.
It is hard for the government to stop the menace through administrative
actions as stricter surveillance of the border require immense human
resources not to mention the related costs thereof. However, the menace
can be discouraged by giving a fiscal shock to the smugglers by reducing
the taxes to offset financial edge enjoyed by the smugglers. As stated
above, the cost of smuggling tyres into the country is a low 15 per cent
compared to duties and taxes which run as high as 50 per cent. It is
imperative to reduce the duties and taxes to bring down the total
incidence on tyre imports to or around 15 per cent. Otherwise, high
duties and taxes would keep offering the smugglers the incentive to push
tyres into the country.