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Government to reduce import duty on industrial machinery in next budget November 10, 2016
Meeting outside ICCI
Engr. Khurram Dastgir, Federal Minister for Commerce said that government would reduce import duty on industrial machinery in the next budget and offer zero-rating facility for export inputs to facilitate the private sector in upgradation of technology and machinery.  He said government was ready to provide support to pharmaceutical industry in financing, branding and registration matters. He said this while interacting with a delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry that called on him led by Khalid Iqbal Malik, President. Director General (Trade Policy) and Director General (Trade Organizations) of Ministry of Commerce were also present at the occasion. 
Khurram Dastgir said that business community should work with confidence to promote exports with EU under GSP Plus regime as there was no danger to this facility and all rumors about its cancellation were baseless. He said rather efforts were afoot with EU to extend this concession up to 31st Dec: 2023 for the benefit of private sector. He said that protective regime was not a wise approach in this competitive age and business community should support government’s trade liberalization efforts. He said government was negotiating FTA with EU so that business community could enjoy concessionary market access to EU on expiry of GSP Plus facility. He said negotiations for FTA with Thailand were at advanced stage while South Korea would be next target for FTA. He said these FTAs would help private sector in promoting trade & exports and becoming more competitive by importing latest technology & machinery on zero or low tariffs. He assured the delegation that their highlighted issues would be given due consideration for redress.
Speaking at the occasion, Khalid Iqbal Malik, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that private sector badly needed to upgrade its industrial machinery for effective participation in CPEC and other projects, but overall 26% import duty on machinery was major hurdle in these pursuits. He said government should minimize import duty on machinery that will help in producing better quality products and improving country’s trade & exports. 
The delegation members said that construction sector was playing important role in creating jobs and supporting many allied industries, but high taxes on property have badly damaged the construction and real estate sectors. They stressed that government should reduce high taxes on property and exempt it from 2% advance tax in order to ease its problems. They said lengthy registration process of medicines was creating problems in promoting exports of pharma products and government should streamline this difficult process. 
Tahir Ayub Vice President ICCI, Khalid Javed, Tariq Sadiq, Zubair Ahmed Malik, Mian Akram Farid, Mian Shaukat Masud, M. Ejaz Abbasi, Zafar Bakhtawari, Zahid Maqbool, Nasir Qureshi, Amir Waheed, M. Ashfaq Chatha, Khalid Chaudhry, Muhammad Hussain and Nadeem Mansoor were in the ICCI delegation.

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