Removal of stamping of goods in Transit to Afghanistan will destroy local industry: GT

Karachi (Muhammad Yasir) Tyre manufacturing sector of the country has urged government to withdraw the decision of discontinuation of stamping of goods “In Transit to Afghanistan” at Karachi Ports and Port Qasim. This decision will hurt the local industry and reverse all the efforts of curbing illegal practices of smuggling.

Spokesman of the General Tyre and Rubber Company of Pakistan (GTR) in a statement issued here today said the process will help increase smuggling and the ease the pilferage of transit goods in the country.

He said stamping must be mandatory for goods in transit to Afghanistan. Without the stamping, goods will again find their ways to the country and ultimately will weaken our local industrial basis and resulting in billion of rupees revenue losses to the government.

Moreover, it has been established that stamping was helpful to address items under the guise of ATT that were either unloaded in Karachi or come back from the Afghan border via smuggling. Along with other measures stamping was a good strategy of the customs department that must be carried on.

It is unfortunate that Government of Pakistan Directorate General of Transit Trade Customs House, Karachi, vide its Office Order No.49 / 2020-Estt-(DTT) Dated: 07.10.2020, has announced that stamping of goods “in transit to Afghanistan” is discontinued at Karachi Ports and Port Muhammad Bin Qasim, contended the spokesman.

While in the other Office Order No.50 / 2020-Estt-(DTT) Dated: 07.10.2020 announced that the scanning of Afghan Transit Cargo at Karachi Ports and Port Muhammad Bin Qasim will be carried out as per Rule 473 of SRO 121(1)/2014 dated 24.02.2014, he added.

“The biggest problem for the local tyre industry has been smuggling. The local tyre industry is meeting almost 15% of the country’s demand. Since the stamping was in place there was a remarkable control over smuggling.

It is of worth noting that almost 20% of the country’s demand is met through imports while 65% of tyre demand is covered through smuggling, he said. 

On the other hand, he added, local industry is generating employment and tax revenue to the government, while it is saving millions of dollars on import bill. 

He added that smuggling is also hurting other local industries as today many local industries have either shut down their operations or moved out due to smuggling.

General Tyre, the largest tyre manufacturer in Pakistan, was also suffering due to smuggling, mis-declaration, legalized smuggling and ATT, he said. 

Therefore, we request the government to mull over the decisions and revert to previous conditions. Stamping of goods “In Transit to Afghanistan” at Karachi Ports and Port Qasim will strengthen local industries and create more job opportunities in the country.