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Businesses urge govt to curb smuggling

RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Raja Amer Iqbal has urged the government to curb smuggling as it is denting the economy. Addressing a traders meeting at the chamber premises, Iqbal said, “By curbing smuggling, the country can increase its tax-to-GDP ratio by another 3.9% to 15% within a year.”

He said that there is a need to monitor the transportation on borders as smuggling severely harms the economy of a country in multidimensional ways.

It damages the local industry, discourages legal imports and reduces the volume of revenues collected from duties and levies by the government, the RCCI president added.

In Pakistan the ratio of smuggling goods is high as compared to its neighbouring countries. The revenue growth is already facing a $2.5 billion loss yearly due to smuggling, said Iqbal. Major items like mobile phones, tyres, diesel, tea, plastic, steel sheets, vehicles, auto parts, cigarettes, garments and electronics (home appliances) are among top smuggled goods.

This has put a negative impact on revenues, industrial production, investment and employment generation, he said. Iqbal further added that the government should enhance its measures to monitor cross border trade.

At the same time, it should rationalise the taxation system to attract the influential industrialists to pay taxes.

courtesy : Express Tribune

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