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New Trade Policy to offer a number of concessions, DTRE procedure to be simplified: minister

ISLAMABAD (July 11 2003) : Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan told the representatives of traders' bodies and chambers of commerce and industry on Thursday that a number of concessions were being announced in the trade policy 2003-04, besides simplifying the procedure of DTRE to facilitate the trading community.

He hinted at cutting down import duty to reduce input cost of industrial products as well as ensuring payment of rebate to the exporters within the stipulated period.

The minister was addressing a daylong meeting of traders' bodies and representatives of chambers of commerce and industry, convened to get input on the upcoming trade policy.

Traders informed the minister that the exporters were facing difficulties to compete in the international market due to high input cost.

They also proposed zero-rated duty on spare parts for second-hand machinery to facilitate the engineering industry.

The representative of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) told the minister that existing 25 percent import duty on spares of the second-hand machinery was problematic and it should be brought down to zero level.

The minister asked the traders to submit their proposals to resolve problems of engineering industry so that it could play its due role in the economic growth.

Humayun Akhtar appreciated the traders and exporters for achieving the export target for 2002-03 and hoped that the upward trend would continue in the years to come.

The minister accepted a proposal of Aftab Ahmed of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry for setting up a national institute for quality control to improve the standard of Pakistani products.

Aftab had suggested that the proposed national institute could be financed through the Export Development Fund.

The minister accepted another proposal for the merger of National Insurance Company and Export Development Trade Institute as both were meant to insure international trade.

The minister asked the traders' representatives to come up with their proposals to make DTRE rules more business-friendly.

The meeting was told that the government was planning to organise seminars, workshops and roundtable conferences on WTO to create awareness among all important players.

Humayum Khan assured the meeting participants that their proposals would be given due consideration while formulating trade policy for 2003-04, to be announced on July 22.

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