KARACHI: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and Former Provincial Minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said issues of the soap industry should be resolved on priority basis.
He said that smuggling of all types of soaps into the country continue to damage the local industry which must be stopped to promote expansion of local industry and providing jobs to two hundred thousand people and paying around Rs.17 billion in taxes
Mian Zahid Hussain said that easy availability of imported and smuggled beauty, toilet and laundry soaps at lower prices are eroding the share of local manufacturers in the market.
He added prices of raw materials such as Tallow, Coconut, palm, cottonseed, Rice bran should be curtailed to make this industry more competitive. Some commercial importers are involved in gross under-invoicing and selling it in the market at much lower prices and capturing a sizable market of finished soaps in Pakistan.
The Business Leader said that in the current situation the local industry could not compete with the landed cost of imported soap as it is very low and being sold in the markets at cheaper rates, therefore, the government should use different tools to provide level playing field to local industry.
Some countries are also exporting soaps to Pakistan through the third country which has also created problems for the local industry comprising of some 500 soap making units in the unorganised and 100 in the organised sector.
Production of laundry soap in Pakistan stands at 500,000, toilet soap 125,000, carbolic soap 45,000 and detergents 150,000 metric tons per year in which eighty percent imported raw material and 20 percent local raw material is used.
Soap industry contributes approximately Rs17bn to the national exchequer which may come down as he the soap industry is passing through a very critical phase due to under-invoicing and smuggling which been killing the industry.
Mian Zahid Hussain applauded the role of Pakistan Soap Manufacturers Association and congratulated newly elected incumbent Tanveer Ahmed Sufi, Tariq Zakaria and Naveed Farooq Afridi and assured them of maximum support for the promotion of Soap Industry. Mian Zahid Hussain congratulated former Chairman Abdullah Zaki and his team as well.