ISLAMABAD (December 22 2004): The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has issued instructions to all collectors of customs to charge 15 percent duty on the export of wheat flour to neighbouring countries. In this regard, the CBR has issued a directive to all regional collectorates here on Tuesday. Sources told Business Recorder that the CBR has not issued SRO imposing 15 per cent regulatory duty on export of wheat flour to avoid any objections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The CBR has made commitment with the international donors that no 'regulatory duty' will be imposed on the export of items. Thus, the CBR has implemented the decision through issuance of instructions and subsequently 15 percent 'export charges' will be collected on the export of wheat flour instead of levying regulatory duty through a SRO.
The CBR has issued the directive to the collectors keeping in view Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) decision and Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock letter of December 14, 2004.
The government has imposed 15 per cent regulatory duty on export of wheat flour to avert the possible shortage of the commodity in the country. The government departments have observed that flour – a product of the wheat imported at a subsidised rate – was being exported.
With subsidy, the cost of imported wheat was higher than the wheat flour being exported at lower prices. The government had already banned the export of wheat because of local demand.
Around 0.2 million tons of wheat flour was exported since May 2004 to various neighbouring countries, including Afghanistan. The government has also allowed free import of wheat by any person subject to the condition that the import was made in conformity with the specification given by the ministry of food, agriculture and livestock.