(18 May, 2018)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said Paper industry is of high significance in the economy of Pakistan because of two reasons; Pakistan is predominantly an agrarian economy offering suitable raw material base and Pakistan has a large and growing market size having a population of 220 million.
The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said big units in the paper industry are focusing supply chain management and value addition of products but this sector lacking consistent and industry friendly Government Policies. Currently, there are 100 manufacturing units which are working in Pakistan, producing writing, printing, wrapping, packing papers and different type of paper boards including chip boards, hard boards, etc.
The former minister said demand for paper products in the Country is increasing significantly, leading to increase of imports by 12- 15 percent annually. This sector needs immediate attention by Government so that its performance may increase further and the sector may flourish in accordance to the available potential therein. For making this sector self reliance, it is important to develop new methods of producing requisite raw material locally and variety of other associated products, research centers in Universities should be established.
Mian Zahid Hussain said paper and paper based products are increasing over the years and the future anticipation for sector is very positive. The industry needs to be restructured on modern lines and tariff regularization is important with constant policies. The import of paper and paper board is subjected to 25% import duty and 15% regulatory duty, 18% sales tax, 2% withholding tax and 1% special excise duty which are on very higher side. The gap in the demand & supply of raw material is filled through the smuggled products via Afghanistan. The taxation should be simplified in order to avoid illegal trade of the products.
He said the increase in demand for paper and paperboard products world over is obvious from the drastic increase in the production of paper and paperboard products globally. Despite of current challenges faced by the country it’s a renowned fact of Pulp and Paper Industry in Pakistan has huge potential to develop.