LAHORE   -   National Tariff Commission (NTC) has failed to protect local industry even after acknowledging large scale dumping of Chinese ceramic tiles in the country. Industrialists said that the government has assured protecting local industry while signing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China.  They elaborated that tiles industry has provided proof of dumping of Chinese products into Pakistani markets. Though NTC imposed anti dumping duty on import of tiles from China in October 2017, the industry has yet to get a relief. They said that NTC has not made any effort to expedite the process of disposing of the court case.

“Since then, the NTC did not pursue the case and a big loss to the national exchequer as well as to local tiles manufacturers is continued,” reasoned an official in the tiles manufacturing industry.

For example, a company in Karachi imported (GD number KAPE-HC-129712-11-02-2019) 15939.0000 square meter (223.14600MT) ceramic tiles from China with the import value of Rs 6,084,583 but did not pay a single penny in terms of anti-dumping duty due the court stay order.

Similarly, another company from Lahore imported (GD number KAPE-HC-124178-01-02-2019) 10725.1200 square meter (215.99200MT) porcelain tiles from China with the import value of Rs 6,485,739 without paying any anti-dumping duty on them.

Moreover, a company from Sialkot imported (GD number KAPE-HC-136068-20-02-2019) 13587.8400 square meter (242.10000MT) polished porcelain tiles from China with the import value of Rs 9,864,480 but no anti-dumping duty was paid.

“These three examples clearly show that the importers did not pay a single penny in terms of anti-dumping duty on the imported tiles worth Rs22 million, which would have been more than Rs2 million in just these three cases,” he said.

Considering these three examples, he added, one can easily imagine the extent of loss to the national economy just because of lack of interest on the part of NTC to safeguard the national interest and local tiles industry.

“Almost 12 million square meter tiles are imported in the country every year from China and if we calculate the anti dumping duty it will translate into a significant amount from (Rs6 billion to Rs24 billion) at a defined range of (9.35% to 36%).The NTC must pursue this case in the best interest of the national economy and to stop loss to national industries,” he added.

The importers are also involved in mis-declaration as that value of the tiles imported in one case under GD number KAPE-HC-124178-01-02-2019 was declared at$4.30 instead of $4.90, which resulted in loss to the national exchequer in a single case of Rs943,542 which also doesn’t include anti-dumping duty.

This mis-declaration is also costing a huge forex annual outflow of around $40 to $50 million to our struggling economy.

“The Ministry which claims to protect the local industry has so far not even established a case against the importers who are inflicting loss on the national exchequer by mis-declaration while also enjoying the interim relief given by the court to not pay anti dumping duty till the next hearing, as the Ministry has failed to pursue the case,” he added.

Moreover, the government should also make efforts to curb smuggling which eats up a major chunk of government revenues and local industry share.

“The government should support the industries which can help in revival of economy by job creation, tax contribution and boosting exports,” he said adding that this will also attract the much needed investment in the country.