Opinion sought on ban over chemicals’ import

LAHORE: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has sought the opinion of various government departments on a proposed ban over the industrial and agricultural chemicals that are used as raw materials in improvised explosive devices (IED).


An office memorandum, issued on 4 February, 2014 asked the ministries of industry and production and national food and security and agriculture departments of all four provinces and Azad Jammu and Kashmir to give their inputs about putting 12 such chemicals into the restricted list of the import policy order (IPO) for 2014.


These chemicals are named ammonium nitrate, nitromethane, sodium nitrate, potassium nitrate, sodium chlorate, potassium chlorate, potassium perchlorate, hydrogen per oxide, nitric acid, urea, aluminum pewer and calcium ammonium nitrate.


The FBR had put the names of two chemicals, acetone and acetic anhydride, into the restricted list of the IPO 2013.


The revenue body identified a correlation between the rise in the bombing incidents in Pakistan and increase in the quantity of these 12 chemicals in the markets.


A study conducted by the FBR’s field formation spotted 14 chemicals as input or raw material of the IED.


The law enforcement agencies have also identified such chemicals – vital industrial and agricultural inputs – are being used by scrupulous elements for manufacturing of IEDs in Pakistan.


Some of these chemicals have their local substitutes and are openly sold in the markets. There is no mechanism in the country to decide about the buyers of these dangerous chemicals.


A tax official said after the ban these chemicals would only be available to industrial importers instead of being sold at open market.

Source: The NEWS