Cabinet approves National Tariff Policy

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Asad returns as Minister for Planning Development & Reforms

ISLAMABAD: Former finance minister Asad Umar on Tuesday was re-inducted into the federal cabinet as he took oath as the minister for planning development and reforms.
President Arif Alvi administered the oath to Umar at the Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad.
Khusro Bakhtiar, who previously served as the minister for planning development and reforms, will now serve as the federal minister for petroleum.
Earlier, Omar Ayub was handling the petroleum division along with the energy division.
In April, Umar had decided to leave the federal cabinet in April after he was removed as the finance minister. At the time, he was offered the post of energy ministry by Prime Minister Imran Khan. who was earlier holding this portfolio has been appointed as the Petroleum Minister.
Reports had been rife for the last two months that a cabinet reshuffle was on the cards, and it was widely being reported that Umar would return to the cabinet.
Meanwhile, The federal cabinet meeting on Tuesday approved the first-ever National Tariff Policy (NTP.
Talking to media after the cabinet meeting in Islamabad, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan along with Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem, said Prime Minister updated the cabinet on improving economic indicators of the country. PM Khan during the meeting said for the first time the current account deficit has decreased in the country due to measures taken by the government’s economic team. The Prime Minister directed all ministries and departments to accelerate efforts in the implementation of people-friendly policies of the government.
The cabinet discussed the issue of appointments at 134 vacant senior posts in various ministries and departments. The NTP is based on the principles of (i) employing tariffs as an instrument of trade policy rather than revenue generation, (ii) maintaining vertical consistency through cascading tariff structures (increasing tariff with stages of processing of a product), (iii) providing time-bound ‘strategic protection’ to the domestic industry during the infancy phase, and (iv) promoting competitive import substitution through time-bound protection, which will be phased out to make the industry eventually competitive for export-oriented production.
The policy will be implemented through a Tariff Policy Board (TPB) chaired by the Commerce Minister/Advisor, with Minister for Industries.