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ISLAMABAD: Commerce Ministry has Reportedly Recommended Five Names to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as Members of a dysfunctional National Tariff Commission (NTC), well informed sources told Business Recorder.

The names are: (i) Qasim Niaz, former Secretary Commerce; (ii) Abdul Khaliq, incumbent Member NTC; (iii) Saira Khattak; (iv) Rubina Athar, incumbent Additional Secretary Ministry of Commerce; and (v) Tippu Khan.

A committee headed by the Commerce Minister, Engineer Khurram Dastgir and comprising Secretaries of different Ministries interviewed the candidates.

The sources said as the Prime Minister approves the summary sent by the Commerce Ministry, the names of new Members NTC will be notified.

Secretary Commerce, Azmat Ali Ranjha recently gave a commitment to the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce that NTC will be fully functional by the end of current month.

Local industry has urged Commerce Ministry to appoint members of National Tariff Commission (NTC) immediately so that their issues are resolved on priority basis. A meeting of the NTC stakeholders’ forum was held in Islamabad on Thursday in which a majority of the domestic producers, whose cases were pending before the NTC, participated in the meeting. The participants expressed their deep concerns and apprehensions over the dysfunctional state of affairs of NTC since 2009.

According to the local industry, trade remedial investigations are time bound investigations strictly in accordance with the international treaties and commitments. Therefore investigations need to be carried out timely otherwise the importers/exporters will take undue advantage of the time limitation by indulging in unnecessary litigations to abuse the process of law as has been observed in the past.

The importers of various end consumer products, mainly tiles and paper, filed a large number of writ petitions just to thwart the due process and avoid imposition of duties. They have been successful and managed to avoid punitive measures at the cost of loss to the domestic industry. In the present WTO regime it is imperative for the states to ensure contemporary ways of governance in order to meet the challenges of globalisation.

The concerned industrial units which recently held a meeting and conveyed their concerns to the Commerce Ministry are: ( i) Amrelli Steels Limited (ii) Gatron Industries Limited (iii) Shabbir Tiles & Ceramics Limited (iv) Master Tiles & Ceramic Industries Limited (v) Karam Ceramics Limited (iv) Sonex Tiles & Ceramic Industries Limited (vii) Frontier Ceramics Limited (viii) Century Paper and Board Mills Limited (ix) Packages Limited (x) Rafhan Maize Products Co Limited (xi) International Steels Limited (xii) Tri-pack Films Limited (xiii) Nimir Chemicals Pakistan Limited (xiv) Ibrahim Fibres Limited and (xv) Rupali Polyester Limited.

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