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Government urged to abolish taxes on import of wood, timber | FURNTR
Government urged to abolish taxes on import of wood, timber

All Pakistan Timber Traders Association (APTTA) chairman Sharjil Goplani has urged the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government to completely abolish import duty, sales tax and other taxes on the import of Wood & Timber to protect the commercial activities in Pakistan. The importers claimed that because of the higher customs duty, sales tax and withholding tax on Wood and Timber (HS Code 44.03 & 44.07) along with heavy devaluation, the commercial activities have gone down and it is the time for PTI government for taking necessary measures to protect this industry and environment.

APTTA chairman Sharjil Goplani said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is receiving 32-34 percent Customs Duty, Sales Tax and Withholding Tax and up to 42 percent on the import of Wood & Timber is a raw material and urged the government to remove it completely. "We can more than hypothetically assume that the shortfall in respect of revenue will be offset by the increased business activities, which will also many jobs in Pakistan," Sharjil said adding that the Wood & Timber is raw material and basic need of many other industries.

He further highlighted that China is importing Wood & Timber from all over the world including US, Canada, Africa etc and exports to US, Canada, European countries, Middle East and North African countries after producing value added goods from the raw material which give tremendous boost to their wood products export. APTTA chairman said if the government allows duty-free import of wood, it will not only boost construction industry but lead to the promotion of many downstream industries by creating a healthy business environment in Pakistan.

It is regrettable that the forest reserves in Pakistan according to FAO report 2015 is 1.9 percent that is almost zero compared to other countries. The most of countries, where the forest percentage is below 25 percent, do not allow harvesting and start plantations to boost forest reserves. Pakistan has almost 1029 known species of all animals, while 3.5 of these are endemic (which exist in no other country) and such animals and other species are living in forests.

Pakistani forests have already depleted and causing climate change and melting glaciers in Pakistan. Pakistan is also facing acute shortage of Wood & Timber owing to the lack of forest and APTTA chief appealed to take measures for the protection of forest reserves. He said the countries like Finland, Sweden, Germany, France, Austria, USA, and Canada have proper replantation policies for example when they harvest or cut one tree, they plant two trees.-PR   jun 2019

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