PAKISTAN: FBR suggests increasing duty on BOPET films

The FBR informed the ECC that Novatex Limited and Astro Plastics (Private) Limited have made presentations, showing Bopet films were being produced by them locally as an import substitute. With the setting up of two plants of Bopet films since July 2012, its local production was reported to be around 49,000 tons against total demand for 16,000 to 18,000 tons.

Representatives of the firms pleaded that the concession in import duty on Bopet films (polyester films) should be withdrawn as it was granted when the films were not being produced in the country. Now the concession is hurting the interest of the local manufacturing industry, they said.

Contrary to this, the importers of Bopet films were of the opinion that withdrawal of the duty relief would create a monopolistic environment. They stressed that some varieties of the film have a particular thickness, which were not being produced locally and for which a separate classification would have to be created.

The FBR believed that instead of withdrawing the full duty concession on import of Bopet films, the existing concession should be reduced gradually.

The ECC noted that the present duty structure for Bopet films has been in place since 2006. Moreover, it should be ensured that the proposed increase in customs duty on import of films is in the interest of the local industry and does not discourage foreign investment.

At the end of the meeting, the ECC decided to constitute a committee to carry out a comprehensive study.

Source: Daily "The Express Tribune", Karachi; 1 Dec 2013(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)