ISLAMABAD: Sindh High Court (SHC) has allowed Organisation for Advancement and Safeguard Industrial Sector (OASIS) to submit its arguments in writ petitions against imposition of regulatory duty (RD) on 700 items vide SRO # 1035 of 2017 of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
It is learnt that OASIS has filed an application in writ petitions being heard by a division bench in Sindh High Court against imposition of RD on 700 items vide SRO # 1035 of 2017.
On the intervenor application of OASIS, the SHC held that it considered the domestic industry as being at least a proper party to the writ petitions and hence allowed counsel for OASIS Sikandar Bashir Mohmand to be heard on the vires of the SRO imposing RD in view of the Mustafa Impex Judgment, but without formally impleading OASIS as a respondent for the reason that the matter was already part heard.
On the intervenor application of OASIS, the SHC held that the intervenor is at least a proper party to the writ petitions and hence allowed counsel for OASIS Sikandar Bashir Mohmand to be heard on the vires of Section 18 (3) of the Customs Act 1969 without formally impleading them as respondents for the reason that the matter was already part heard.
Submissions were made on behalf of OASIS in support of imposition of RD and it was argued that Article 77 of the Constitution provides and contains a separate and independent power under which RD may be lawfully imposed through delegation to the FBR.
In Sindh High Court, there is a stay order that the importers can release their goods by depositing 50 percent of the RD in government treasury and furnishing bank guarantee/pay order of the other 50 percent.
Sikandar Bashir Mohmand will be presenting his arguments on the next date of hearing.
Talking to Business Recorder, Executive Director of OASIS Atif Iqbal said that OASIS supported the FBR move to impose RD on all those products which were locally produced and were non-essential in nature. As a matter of principle, OASIS is against excessive duties on all inputs/raw materials consumed by local industry but supports additional duty on value added non-essential goods.
The RD on value added non-essential goods is in the interest of national economy. This step shall not only help in reducing trade deficit but will also save precious foreign exchange and improve foreign exchange reserves. The second positive impact shall be on local industry which may enhance its capacity to meet incremental demand.
Importers have started parallel litigation in two different high courts, Atif Iqbal opined.
The importers have also filed writ petitions in Lahore High Court and Sindh High Court. The LHC has given such an interim order in which the importers will have to deposit RD but shall be subject to final outcome of that writ petition, the executive director of OASIS added.
On multiple writ petitions (WP # 108547 of 2017) filed by the importers, Lahore High Court order said that any duty to be paid by the petitioner shall be subject to the final outcome of the petition.