March 6, 2019: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday approved, in principle, the first ever ‘National Tariff Policy’ (NTP) of the country to ensure transparency, predictability and institutionalizing the entire structure of the tariff regime.
The draft policy, approved by the prime minister, would be presented before the federal cabinet for consideration, a Prime Minister Office statement said.
Highlighting the salient features of the policy, Commerce Secretary Mohammad Younus Dagha said the policy had been drafted after detailed and comprehensive discussions with the stakeholders.
He said the major objectives of the policy were to improve competitiveness through access to raw materials, increase employment opportunities by attracting investment through transparent and predictable tariff regime and remove anomalies in tariff structure, causing distortions.
The principles of the policy include tariff as a trade policy instrument, reducing exemptions and concessions, cascading tariff structures with stage of processing of a product, strategic protection to domestic industry and competitive import substitution.
The new policy also envisages the establishment of a broad-based Tariff Policy Centre in the Ministry of Commerce to formulate proposals for improving tariff structure in pursuance of the objectives of the NTP.
The prime minister appreciated the efforts of the commerce ministry for formulating a comprehensive tariff policy for the first time in the history of the country.
He said the policy would greatly restore confidence of the business community by providing for a transparent, predictable and institutionalized structure for tariff setting.
The prime minister observed that the economy, especially the trade and industrial development suffered in the past due to ad-hocism and unpredictability of tariff structure resulting in capture of the economy by vested interests and rampant corruption.