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  • Jan 12th, 2009
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All Pakistan Textile Manufacturers Association (Aptma) has accused the National Tariff Commission (NTC) of hurting the interests of local industry by not including public interest clause in the anti-dumping laws, sources in Finance Ministry told Business Recorder.

The members of Aptma have already unanimously resolved to authorise its chairman to settle mills' issues with the government on war footing, failing which the chairman would be bound to call for closure of the industry.

World-wide imposition of anti-dumping duty is contingent upon national/public interest being taken into account at the ministerial level after duty elimination by the relevant domestic agency.

Pakistan has been a beneficiary of the public interest clause in the European Union (EU) law when after recommendation of imposition of duty by the European Commission, the Council of Ministers decided not to impose duty.

"Unfortunately, public interest clause is missing from Pakistan's anti-dumping law and NTC straightaway imposes anti-dumping duty in a mechanical way without national/public interest being considered at any level," the sources quoted Chairman Aptma, Tariq Mehmood as saying in a letter to the Prime Minister's Advisor on Finance, Shaukat Tarin.

Pakistan's market is very small vis-à-vis the quantum of exports made world-wide by international suppliers of industrial raw materials. For this reason, it is not worthwhile in view of foreign manufacturers/exporters to contest anti-dumping duty cases initiated by the NTC.

For example, in the recent case against the Chinese polyester fibre manufacturers, only two out of 52 nominated manufacturers decided to contest and that too on pleading of their Pakistani counterpart industrial importers and re-exporters. The remaining non-contesting Chinese suppliers to Pakistan will be declared non-co-operative and panel duties would be levied on imports made from them, to the detriment of Pakistan's value-adding industry, Mehmood was quoted as further elaborating textile industry's problems.

"PSF being a raw material for our textile industry and considering that its domestic manufacturers are already protected by the margin of import duty and other import expenses, anti-dumping duty may be decided to be against national interest on application of neutral ministerial level judgement," the sources added.

Aptma has already agitated this point earlier also, but NTC has refused to accept the logic of public/national interest although many countries use it.

The association is concerned over amendments in antidumping laws without prior consultation with the stakeholders.

"We understand that amendments in the anti-dumping law are contemplated for which a bill is expected to be introduced in the Parliament. We request that before sending the summary to the cabinet or bill to either house of the Parliament, a dialogue with the textile industry be held and the proposals of the industry be considered," the sources quoted Tariq Mehmood as suggesting to the Finance Advisor.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2009

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