KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) may lose Rs17 billion in tax collection in the current fiscal year of 2015/16 if the government doesn’t increase regulatory duty on steel imports. The statements, issued on Monday by Pakistan Shipbreakers Association (PSBA) and Pakistan Steel Re-rolling Mills Association (PSRMA), said the shipbreaking industry can pay only one billion rupees in taxes to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in the current fiscal year as against Rs12.6 billion in the last fiscal year. The PSBA statement said the industry paid only Rs400 million in taxes to FBR in the quarter ended September 30, 2015. “We are requesting the government to create a level-playing field by increasing import duties and taxes on finished products,” said Shoaib Sultan, a member of PSBA. “We have created thousands of jobs and if prompt action will not be taken then the government will lose at least Rs11.6 billion from our industry alone.” PSRMA said destruction of local industry through import of steel bar, angle, channel and girder beams (finished products) must be stopped. The association said the government collects more than Rs30 billion revenues every year from the industry, which has a capacity to produce more than six million tons and is now shutting down.
“Regulatory duty on finished steel products must be increased to at least 30 percent and sales tax must be pushed up to 30 percent from 17 percent on imported finished steel products,” it said in a statement. “Prices of international steel finished products have crashed. All local steel sectors are feeling the pinch. In October, 20,000 tons of finished products arrived and if the trend persists then FBR can lose another Rs5.5 billion in revenue generation.” The local manufacturers pay Rs22,000/ton on finished products to FBR, it said. “The quality of the imported products is a serious concern for our national infrastructure since a lot of the material coming in our country is substandard.”