KARACHI: Appreciating the measure taken by the government to increase regulatory duty RD on the import of ceramic tiles, the local tiles manufacturers have called for the continuation of duty for the better interest of local industry as well as the economy.Addressing the journalists, Shabbir Tiles and Ceramics CEO Masood Jaffery, on Wednesday, said that the duty will help curb the main issues hurting the industry including under-invoicing, dumping and inferior quality of products. He said that it will support the local industry and discourage the import of tiles especially from China.“The importers are buying sub-standard tiles from different countries that dump their excess inventories in Pakistan,” he added.This affects the sales of local products because the manufactures come face to face with higher input cost challenge.“Locally manufactured Tiles are expensive due to 21 percent of sales tax, high wages of laborers, power and gas prices. We have to run plants 365 days a year and a consistent demand is required from the market to run our plants smoothly. In the last last few years, especially in the fiscal year 2016-17, Shabbir Tiles & Ceramics Limited faced a loss of Rs. 190 Million due to dumping of imported Tiles,” said Jaffery.He further said that the government has imposed anti-dumping from 9% to 36% on all Chinese imports, which is a very healthy step. Additionally, regulatory duty has also been increased by 20%.“This will not only give breathing space to the local manufacturers who, despite huge investments have been on verge of collapse. This will also create opportunities for the new investors to invest in the sector and create new job opportunities,” he added.“Anti-dumping is a very brave and bold step taken by the government to help grow the local industry and also will open new avenues for the investors as it promises substantial gain on their investment,” he reasoned. He also said that this will bring economic prosperity to the country and increase employment opportunities, tax revenue from imports and remove pressure from foreign exchange reserves.He said despite all the problems and losses Shabbir Tiles is committed to provide best quality tiles and contemporary designs to its customers.“We are regularly investing in the upgrading of our production facility,” he added.Published in Daily Times, November 2nd 2017.