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Withholding tax on pulses import reduced

KARACHI (July 13 2005): The government has reduced withholding tax on import of pulses from 6 percent to 2 percent to help stabilise the domestic prices and to tackle inflationary pressure. The government on Tuesday decided to reduce withholding tax on import of pulses from 6 percent to 2 percent and soon a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) would be issued in this regard.

According to an expert, because of untimely rains in winter some crops were damaged and sudden increase in demand pushed the import bill sharply.

Ashraf Tar Mohammad, chairman, Pakistan Commodity Traders Association (PICTA), appreciated the government's decision and said it was timely because, due to higher demand world-wide, the prices of pulses have surged sharply.

The decision would certainly help stabilise the local prices and common man would be benefited. “During the Holy month of Ramzan, the demand of food items, especially ghee, sugar and pulses rises sharply and several measures have been taken and more should be taken to halt the price spiral”.

“Because of higher demand in India, our exporters have sent several thousand tons of lentil (masoor dal) and Black “Mapte” (Kala Chana), (earning) valuable foreign exchange (for) the country”, Raees said.

He said that the price in the international market for Kala chana at present is $540 per ton, up from $480 per ton about a fortnight ago, while the price of lentil increased to $550 from $500 per ton.

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