Karachi, Poor quality Chinese tiles are playing havoc with the construction industry of Pakistan. It was revealed in a survey of Karachi s major markets of sanitary-ware that some importers involved in massive under-invoicing are importing poor quality but cheap tiles luring the consumers in Pakistan due to their attractive look and low prices.
The price conscious consumers in Pakistan are being robbed by such tiles dealers by offering lower prices on Chinese tiles which are usually Rs100 to Rs200 per square meters as compare to locally manufactured tiles. A dealer of sanitary-ware at New Town said that people are losing their precious money, time and getting unnecessary hassle by purchasing poor quality tiles imported from China. These Chinese tiles are imported at a price even cheaper than from China s domestic market but being sold to the consumers and no cushion is given to the end customers despite the fact they evade duty and taxes massively through under-invoicing. A few such importers have been nabbed by the customs intelligence and FIR was also registered against them on the charges of mis-declaration and duty evasion , said a dealer at Gulbahar sanitary market.
Following a survey the domestic as well as commercial buyers of poor quality wall and floor tiles said that they have to replace Chinese tiles in just after a period of one year as they either got cracked or their glaze gone faded. Mrs Naeema Khalid an owner of a house in Gulshan-e-Iqbal said that she bought Chinese tiles from Gulbahar s sanitary market which were a little cheaper than local branded tiles after being convinced by the dealer about a year back but they started fading in less than one year s time and now she has to replace them and has to bear huge cost once again. She said that she bought these tiles due to their glaze and color choices besides the prices as they were little cheaper than local tiles. A local builder and developer Amin Machhiyara said that one of his projects in Gulistan-e-Jauhar could not sell quickly due to the Chinese tiles as wall tiles in the bath-rooms got cracked while glaze of floor tiles in high traffic area like entrance and TV lounges have been faded. He said that in a bid to secure a little more profit he had to spend a big money on replacing all the cracked and faded tiles.
A dealer in Defense Market opine that there are two types of Chinese tiles being imported into the country poor quality and cheap tiles while some of the importers are importing grade one tillers which are better in quality but costlier than local tiles.
A dealer in New Town said that he is well aware of the fact that local tiles are better in quality as they are baked in ultra high temperature. He said that some of the Chinese brand tiles are even higher in prices than local tiles despite the fact that they are not at all better than local tiles yet the customers are being duped by many ceramics sellers claiming that Chinese are better in quality.