Lahore, May 18, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the government to help stop smuggling of Plastic Moulding Compound and other chemicals used in plasticizer industry that have flooded the markets and causing a loss of billions of Rupees to the exchequer.
The LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh, in a statement issued here after having a meeting with a delegation of businessmen belonging to plastic chemical business, said that the LCCI had twice invited the attention of the authorities concerned towards the fast spreading menace of smuggling but no action has been taken so far and the situation has turned so bad that genuine businessmen are unable to continue with their businesses as cheaper smuggled low quality chemicals are of great attraction to the buyers.
The LCCI President said that on the one hand an acute shortage of electricity and sky-rocketing prices of petroleum products have destroyed the economic fabric of the country while on the other hand the menace of smuggling is fast spreading its tentacles and at the cost exchequer.
Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that the authorities concerned should immediately ban import of Polyethene and Polyproplene from Iran via land route from any border of Pakistan as at present these products are available in the local market at Rs 20/kg below the imported price that is very damaging for the local businessmen.
The LCCI President said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce would extend full cooperation to the Federal Board of Revenue if it initiates a strict action against such black sheep who are not only challenging the writ of the law but also denting the economy in a big way.
He said that the growth of unorganized sector must be checked for the sake of organized sectors that are doing business after paying all their dues. “To provide an enabling business atmosphere to the genuine businessmen is duty of the government machinery.”
Earlier, the Chairman Plastic Importers and Traders Association Sheikh Mohammad Ayub informed the LCCI President that the Association had already brought into the notice of the FBR that the smuggling of polymers from Iran was not only causing a huge loss to the government but was also badly damaging the local investors who are running their businesses through clean documentation. He said that only because of these unscrupulous elements it has become almost impossible for the genuine businessmen to continue their businesses.
He said that the total import of plastic raw material Polyethene and Polyproplene in 2010-2011 was about Rs 75.5 billion. The importers pay advance tax at port about 38 per cent in lieu of duties and taxes and if the smuggling is not stopped, it will lead to a loss of minimum Rs 25 billion to the exchequer.
He said that it was very unfortunate that the people sitting at the helm of affairs in the Federal Board of Revenue are taking this important issue of national importance very lightly. He said that government would have to weed out the menace of smuggling once for all to save the local investors and the economy.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854