ISLAMABAD: The vested interests of some of the officials in the Ministry of Commerce have forced the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to block its proposals to change Regulatory Duty on some of the imported items despite the recommended by the Standing Committee of Senate on Finance and Revenue.

According to sources, the Federal Secretary Commerce Younus Dagha has allegedly behind the move and forced the FBR and blocked its proposal to change the Regulatory Duty on certain items for his own benefit and to provide benefit to some of the influential politicians who are in the business of these items.

According to details, the Revenue Division of the Ministry of Finance informed the Economic Coordination Committee which met gave the approval for increasing the Regulatory Duty from 10 to 30 percent on a number of non-essential  and luxury items. On the directives of the ECC, the FBR issued a SRO on October 16, 2017 resulting levy of Regulatory Duty 137 items. This decision was criticised by the business community and a number of representations were presented to the government, FBR and before the Standing Committees of Senate and National Assembly in this regard. Local manufacturers of many products, complained that this revision of the duty will disturb their business and it will encourage the imports.

The Standing Committees held many hearings and finally recommended to the FBR to hold negotiations with all the stakeholders and revise the structure of Regulatory Duty in accordance with the recommendations of the stakeholders.

A committee of FBR officials, representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Commerce discussed all the aspects and they also reviewed over 50 representations received by the FBR in this regard. Local  manufacturers also demanded same concessions but the government did not agreed to these proposals.

According to proposals, many local manufacturers demanded to levy Regulatory Duty on the products which were manufactured by them so that imported goods on less duty will destroy their industry. One of the leading factor in this regard was Regulatory Duty on the import of tyres being used in the big vehicles. Some local manufacturers of the tyres were not interested to levy duty on these tyres as the tyres being used in the big vehicles are imported and these are not manufactured locally.

Some of the politicians are in the business of these tyres and they contacted the Secretary Commerce Yousun Dagha, who blocked the change of Regulatory Duty on the import of tyres on the pretext that FBR did not shared the proposals with him before taking the issue of Regulatory Duty to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) so he used his influential and forced the FBR and blocked the proposal to change the Regulatory Duty.

On this decision, the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue expressed concern and asked explanation from the FBR. The Committee even summoned Member Customs FBR Muhammad Zahid who explained to the Committee that the Regulatory Duty proposal on tyres was not sent to the ECC after the interference of the Secretary Commerce Yousun Dagha who said as he was not consulted before sending the summary to ECC, so it should be approved and consequently the FBR has to withdraw its proposal regarding Regulatory Duty and finally it was not in the latest SRO issued by the FBR in this regard.