A delegation of local importers and fast moving consumers goods businessmen visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry and expressed great concerns over SRO-237, which has created additional problems for them. They said that Ministry of Commerce and Textile has issued SRO-237(1)/2019, dated 19th February 2019 to make further amendments in the Import Policy Order 2016, but these amendments would cause lot of problems for the local importers and FMCGs.
The delegation members said that SRO-237 required the printing of food products packaging both in Urdu and English with details of ingredients, nutritional facts, usage instructions etc. It also required Halal Certificate issued by a Halal Certification Body accredited with an Accrediting Body, which was a member of International Halal Accreditation Forum or Standards Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries. They said fulfilling these requirements would be quite difficult for importers and would badly affect the imports. They stressed that government should withdraw SRO-237 to save importers and FMCGs from further troubles.
Speaking at the occasion, Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that government had assured to take measures for improving ease of doing business, but such SROs would make doing business more difficult instead of making it easy. He urged that government should review amendments made in Import Policy through SRO 237 as these would hamper the smooth running of businesses. He said importers and FMCGs were paying billions to national exchequer through tax besides providing jobs to millions of people, but such amendments in Import Policy would make things tougher for importers.
Rafat Farid Seniorr Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that approaching foreign Halal authorities for certification was problematic as it would jack up the cost of doing business. They stressed that government should establish that such certification authorities within the country as obtaining certifications from foreign authorities was more difficult. They urged that government should defer the implementation of SRO-237 and give stakeholders at least 2 years for a smooth transition because immediate implementation of this directive shall have serious negative impact on business activities.