Ali Ahmad was elected Chairman of Pakistan Steel Re-Rolling Mills Association on Saturday while Mian Murad Ashraf and Ghulam Ali Bhatia as Vice Chairman (Lahore Circle) and Vice Chairman (Karachi Circle), respectively, for the year 2012-13. The results of the newly elected office-bearers were, announced at 51st Annual General Meeting of The Pakistan Steel Re-Rolling Mills Association held here at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Steel industry leaders Hafiz Mohammad Akbar, Mian Mohammad Ashraf and a large number of steel industry businessmen were present on the occasion. The Executive Committee members elected for the year 2012-13 are: Executive Committee (Lahore Circle) Mian Murad Ashraf, Mian Tariq Waheed, Asmat Pervaiz Malik, Mian Arif Mehmood, Khawaja Javaid Iqbal and Khalid Javaid. Executive Committee Members for Karachi Circle are: Ali Ahmad, Ghulam Ali Bhatia, Shahnawaz Ishtiaq, Iftikhar Ali, Khalid Khan and Irshad Mowjee.
Earlier, Pakistan Steel Re-Rolling Mills Association newly elected Vice Chairman Mian Murad Ashraf invited the attention of the government towards the massive Rs 7000 per ton sales tax evasion with the result that honest tax payers of the steel industry are unable to compete with these unscrupulous elements.
He said that the Association had a number of times pointed out this evasion to the concerned authorities and so much so the manes of these tax evaders were given to the Chairman FBR and other concerned authorities but it is very unfortunate that no action has so far been taken. And, he said, that a number of re-rolling mills and furnaces are closing down or are bound to make huge retrenchments. Whereas, the defaulters owe billion of rupees to the sales tax department.
Mian Murad Ashraf said that the government should also implement some fool proof strategy to stop power and gas pilferage as the power and gas theft are hitting the entire steel industry very badly and jacking up the graph of unemployment. He said that the recovery of the bills in Punjab is 98 percent whereas in other provinces is far less thus making the steel products being produced in Punjab uncompetitive in the market.
He said that 0.5 percent income tax and 3.5 percent withholding tax on steel industry exceeds the sales price of steel by Rs 2500 per ton thus making the industry unviable. Explaining the point, he said that the per ton profit of steel products is only Rs 500 while the cumulative income tax is Rs 3000 per ton. The outgoing Chairman of the Association Mian Tariq Waheed said that steel industry should be exempted from load shedding and curtailment of gas. Increase in electricity tariff should be withdrawn and unreasonable high prices of electricity and gas should be minimised up to possible extent for the survival of industry. He said that imposition of sales tax in gas bills should be withdrawn as it was double taxation.