MULTAN: Chairman Multan Dry Port Trust (MDPT) Khwaja Jalaluddin Romi has stated that government of Punjab has decided not to collect Punjab Infrastructure Development Cess (PIDC) from import shipments cleared through different ports of province to promote business activities.
These views were expressed by Chairman Multan Dry Port Trust Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi in his exclusive talk with Customs Today in his office on other day. He said that current decision of exempting import shipments from Infrastructure Development Cess in Punjab province will revive closed business units in southern Punjab and provide employment opportunities to thousands of people. Infrastructure Development Cess has enhanced the business cost of importers and manufacturers were facing serious issues in competing global markets due to high cost of production. Different products manufactured in the whole province especially South Punjab region will meet the demand of markets.
Double taxation was a major impediment to economic growth and the government has taken decision to withdraw Infrastructure Development Cess for the promotion of business activities in the province. He told that importers and manufacturers were compelled for dual taxation on clearance of import shipments because importers paid almost 1.15 % at Karachi Ports for the clearance of shipments. After the passage of 18th Constitutional Amendment, the Punjab government also imposed the Punjab Infrastructure Development Cess at the rate of 0.9% from July 1, 2015. “This levy inflicted a severe blow to upcountry dry ports, which have created multiple issues for the Multan Dry Port Trust and all imports were shifted to Karachi due to multiplicity of taxes,” Roomi said.
Majority of importers preferred to clear their consignments at the Karachi port to avoid dual taxation after imposition of Infrastructure Development Cess. Punjab government has generated almost Rs.4 billion from the Punjab Infrastructure Development Cess after its imposition but it disturbs manufacturing units badly due to increase in business costs.
He demanded that heavy vehicles carrying containers use the roads of the provinces whereas the railway system is under the ambit of Federal government and government should also culminate this Infrastructure development cess on import shipments coming through railway cargo for promoting smooth clearance facility to importers.
Chairman Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi expressed that almost 1800 containers have been handled at Multan Dry Port including import and export shipments from 1st January 2019 to 31st December 2019. He asked the business community of Multan to utilize clearance facilities available for them at Multan Dry Port. He said that Multan Dry Port is one of the few Dry Ports in the country which is offering appropriate facilities to importers/ exporters of the region like Karachi and as it is the only Dry Port in the location of South Punjab due to its geographical importance.
Multan Dry Port is providing an opportunity of swift clearance of consignments and same day clearance of batches is our trade mark, therefore importers and exporters preferred to clear their shipments from Multan Dry Port.
He informed that a proposal from Railway Service is under consideration that a freight carrier could be taken on lease from the government and it will be exempted from the Dry port charges to promote export of South Punjab. He said that Railway link will provide opportunity to business community for clearance of import and export consignment from Multan Dry Port.