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PAKISTAN’S FIRST INDEPTH NEwSPAPER ON cUSTOMS

Vol 1 Issue No. 37

Karachi, Tue Oct 29 - Mon Nov 04, 2013

weekly

Regd. No, Mc-1381

A FERVENT APPEAL

Through cUSTOMS TODAY platform HELP DESK, importers who are badly affected by increase in sales tax andVAT appeal to the PM to take immediate notice. | SEE PAgE 10 |

PROMPT AcTION

es in September;August uring July and d s n Directorate io t a r e p conducts 27 o tects 14 cas I&I Karachi de

LAHORE/KARACHI

SOHAIL RAB KHAN/M HAYAT www.customstoday.com

We are trying to curb corruption from the Ministry. We have installed biometric attendance machine to get rid of ghost employees, says Michael. | SEE PAgE 3 |

APPLYINgEMERgINgTRENDS

The international customs wing at FBR is striving to develop an atmosphere of trust with other countries, says Dr. Zubair | SEE PAgE 6-7 |

PIFFA AT THE FOREFRONT

PIFFA has introduced a‘MultiModelTransportation’system to facilitate freight forwarders, says Habibullah. | SEE PAgE 4 |

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nder the leadership of Chairman Tariq Bajwa, all wings of FBR have geared up their activities in a bid to maximise revenue collection to achieve the annual tax target of Rs2475 billion. In line with the new spirit infused in FBR, the anti-smuggling units of the Customs Department all over the country have launched a vigorous drive to stop smuggling and smash rackets and maPias robbing the national exchequer of billions of rupees in lost tax income. Here we are publishing two especial reports one each from Karachi and Lahore focussing on the anti-smuggling efforts of the customs authorities during the Pirst quarter of Piscal year 2013-14. The Directorate General of Customs Intelligence and Investigation (I&I), Karachi Region seized 14 cases of smuggling worth Rs 21,792,919 in the month of September, 2013. According to the details, Customs I&I Department seized a vehicle U/S 157 worth Rs 3,000,000. It also conPiscated 7 vehicles U/S 16 (NDP) costing Rs 4,579,023 which were imported illegally. In addition, the Department detained 494 tubes and tyres worth Rs 3,970,000 and miscellaneous items including auto parts of worth Rs 318,000. During anti-smuggling activities, Customs I&I Department conPiscated 2900 ‘Dandas’ of fake and foreign cigarettes worth Rs 545,333 and 120 buckets/ctns of grease worth Rs 300,000. In the month of September, Customs I&I through its effective and well-planned operations seized 34 carpets worth Rs 612,963 and 408 blankets worth Rs 163, 200 during its anti-smuggling activities. Medi-

cines worth Rs 600,000 and miscellaneous goods worth Rs 7,704,400were also seized. Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Customs Intelligence and Investigation (I&I), Karachi conducted 27 operations during the months of July and August, saving millions of rupees for the national exchequer. According to details, Directorate of Customs I&I in the month of July seized goods worth millions of rupees in 15 cases of various types. It seized three U/S 157 vehicles with CIF Value of Rs9,000,000; one U/S 16 (NDP) vehicle with CIF value of Rs802,540; 990-yard cloth worth Rs19,800; 108 tyres and tubes worth Rs1,784,400; auto spare parts worth Rs575,000; 60,000 litres diesel worth Rs4,000,000; 1000 litres of mobile oil worth Rs600,000; 10,261kg poppy straws worth 2,000,000; and miscellaneous goods worth Rs7,110,084. Two persons involved in the crime were also arrested Similarly in August, the Customs Department saved for the national exchequer millions of rupees in 12 different cases. The department seized 8,280-yard cloth worth Rs993,510; 20 tyres and tubes worth Rs61,480; 3,852 boxes of fake/foreign cigarettes worth Rs1,835,000; 276 blankets worth Rs89,800; 239,620 pouch of ‘Gutka’ worth Rs890,000 and miscellaneous goods worth Rs21,403,432. Meanwhile, the Anti-Smuggling Wing of Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) Lahore conPiscated smuggled cars and contraband goods worth Rs 112.67 million during the Pirst quarter of Piscal year 2013-14. The AntiSmuggling Unit conducted 18 raids and seized smuggled cars worth Rs 7.88 million. It also impounded contraband goods worth Rs 104.79 in 81 cases during the 1Q.

In July, customs ofPicials intercepted smuggled vehicles worth Rs 4.44 in seven cases and contraband goods worth Rs 40.38 million in 26 cases. According to details, in July, the anti-smuggling wing seized smuggled vehicles and contraband goods including ladies cloth worth Rs 0.44 million, 617.28 kg of parachute fabric worth Rs 0.35 million, A/S cloth

Price Rs. 50.00

410kg worth Rs 0.29 million, diesel generator 39KVA worth Rs 1.20 million, diesel generator 275.300 KVA worth Rs 2.00 million and miscellaneous goods worth Rs 1.30 million. The wing held one Honda Civic car IDS686 worth Rs 1.0 million, one Honda Accord car LEE-087217, one Toyota Corolla car IDF-8075 worth Rs 0.80 million, one Toyota Crown car R2790 worth Rs 0.30 million, cloth worth Rs 1.40 million, ladies suiting cloth 300 rolls worth Rs 0.75 million and miscellaneous goods and articles worth Rs.0.75 million. Further, the unit conPiscated a diesel generator 500 KVA worth Rs 2.00 million, Gerry cloth 6048 kg worth Rs 3.00 million, Indian cloth 10000 meters worth Rs 1.0 million, dry milk powder 250 bags, two diesel generators 1200 KVA and 20 KVA worth Rs 9.16 million, one Mazda truck LES-13-6071 worth Rs 0.12 million and one diesel generator 75KVA worth Rs 0.70 million. The department also detained A/S cloth 2460 yards worth Rs 0.25 million, HRC coil 35425 kg worth Rs 3.04 million, steel coil 12 tonnes worth Rs 1.20 million, polyester lining cloth 135,000 yards worth Rs 0.70 million, Toyota Corolla car LXE-786 worth Rs 0.80 million and MS pipe 2543 kg worth Rs 3.44 million. The department conPiscated a Mazda truck/LES-09-1916 worth Rs 0.12m, plastic dana 100 bags worth Rs 0.50m, two old & used generators worth Rs 1.80m, Indian A/S cloth 9300 yards worth Rs 0.58m, one diesel generator 100 KVA worth Rs 1.00m.. During the month of August 2013, the anti-smuggling wing conPiscated a used generator worth Rs 0.42 million, MS pipe 8262kg worth Rs 0.8m, steel pipe 27, 000kg Rs 27.00 million, Rs 0.60m auto parts, Rs 0.25m 16 cartons of shampoo, Rs 0.90 million two used generators, Rs 15.75m medical X-ray Pilm 1180 cartons and Rs 0.80m Toyota Vitz car ALJ-434, Rs 0.80m Toyota Land Cruiser APL13, Rs 0.07m silk fabric in roll (12,000 yards), Rs 2.00m MS sheet 18995 kg, Rs 0.29m plastic dana 1500kg, Rs 1.00m diesel generator 100 KVA, Rs 1.42m A/S cloth 14238 yd and Rs 0.50m ladies & gents cloth 4885 yd. Similarly, the wing conPiscated seven bodies of Mazda trucks each worth Rs Rs 0.12m. OfPicial data disclosed that during August, Customs anti-smuggling unit registered See page on 10


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02 NATIONAL

OCTOBER 29 - NOVEMBER 04, 2013

FPccI demands duty-free access to US markets

ISLAMABAD: Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry has demanded duty-free access for Pakistani products to the US markets for helping it offset the colossal economic loss during its war against terrorism. Pakistan’s economy has so far suffered more than one trillion dollars loss during the last one decade in its continuing war on terror, said FPCCI Chief Zubair Ahmad Malik. Pakistan is the one country most affected by this war, he added. FPCCI wanted duty-free trade with the US private sector, and not aid.

No new customs duty on motorcycle industry ISLAMABAD

Tepid response to FBR taxation drive It takes about three months from serving the notice to recovering the tax from the potential taxpayer. If the recipient of the notice does not respond within two months FBR has the authority to make provisional tax assessment, says FBR chairman Tariq Bajwa

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BR has given duty concessions to the manufacturers of motorcycles by issuing SRO.939(I)/2013 and SRO.940(I)2013. FBR will not charge the additional customs duty on subcomponents and components, imported in any kit form by a new entrant assembler or manufacturer of motorcycles in Pakistan. Through these notifications, FBR has amended SRO 656(1)/2006, dated June 22, 2006 and SRO 693(I)/2006, dated July 1, 2006. According to SRO 939(I)/2013, in line with the new entrant policy for motorcycle manufacturing industry with new technology notified by Ministry of Industries and Production vide Notification No 4-1/2013/LED-II-(VolIII), dated the September 26, 2013, the additional customs duty under this notification shall not be charged on subcomponents and components, imported in any kit form by a new entrant assembler or manufacturer, for assembly or manufacturing of motorcycles classified under Pakistan Customs Tariff (PCT) heading 87.11 specified for a period of five years from the start of assembly or manufacturing with new technology. This is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions. 

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FIA loath to exclude Customs officials' names from FIR ederal Investigation Agency (FIA) is not willing to withdraw the names of customs officials from the FIR registered for misusing passport of a passenger for importing a vehicle. Earlier, the Customs Department in a letter requested FBR to persuade FIA authorities to withdraw the names of customs officials. According to the letter, the department has not found any proof of corruption by the customs officials and termed the FIR as unwarranted against the customs staff. However, the FIA officials were of the view that nomination of customs officials in the FIR was based on investigation. Hence they were not ready to withdraw their names. Meanwhile, the confrontation between the two agencies is adversely impacting the clearance of imported vehicles, which is virtually blocked, creating problems for commercial importers. The FIA Crime Circle, Karachi, during the course of investigations scrutinised the immigration data base and the entry/exit stamp affixed on the said passport was found fake/forged, thus arriving at the conclusion that the clearing agent had committed fraud with the complainant from whom the passport was taken for issuance of visa.The FIA officials have further nominated six more officials of the Collectorate in the FIR. —CT Report

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ISLAMABAD

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he government’s Plagship drive launched to broaden an extremely narrow tax base seems falling far behind the goal, as only 174 people or just 0.5% of over 30,000 who have been served notices Piled income tax returns along with a paltry sum of Rs7.3 million. From July through September this year the federal government served tax notices to 30,333 potential taxpayers, according to Pigures compiled by the FBR. Out of those only 1,046 persons got registered with the FBR but actually only 174 Piled income tax returns, showing a compliance rate of 0.57% to be precise. These people paid an amount of Rs7.3 million in income tax. On average every person paid Rs41.898 in income tax as a result of the Broadening of Tax Base (BTB) drive. Under an IMF condition, Pakistan ought to send notices to 100,000 big tax evaders before end June 2014. The depressing outcome is the result of the new government’s economic policies that are perceived as taking the country one step forward and two steps backwards, said Ashfaq Tola, a leading tax expert. The successive governments

have been trying to broaden the extremely narrow tax base but could not achieve the desired results and ended up putting more burden on the existing thin base. The previous government wanted to offer onetime amnesty to the identiPied 3.8 million people in return for asking them to pay Rs40,000 to Rs70,000 in income tax. The stick was the threat to block the computerised national identity cards of those who would not opt to come in the net. However, due to stiff opposition by the PML-N, the previous government could not get the amnesty bill passed from the Parliament.

FBR chairman Tariq Bajwa, however, said that it takes about three months from serving the notice to recover the tax from the potential taxpayer. If the recipient of the notice does not respond within two months the FBR has the authority

Customs for conducting audit of inter-port cargo movement KARACHI

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ustoms authorities have requested the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for an audit of cargo data of inter-port movement for the last two years as reportedly unscrupulous elements took advantage of loopholes in the consignment clearance system and removed goods on fake goods declaration, causing huge revenue loss to the national exchequer. Customs sources disclosed that FBR has been requested to issue instructions to collectorates to carry out audit of data of interport movement of cargo of at least two years and physically check the presence of unclaimed indices to see whether the goods were disposed of legally or otherwise. As per the prevailing procedure for dealing with the inter-port movement of cargo/consignments, an ofPicial of the rank of assistant collector of Pakistan Customs has been authorised to grant permission for movement of cargo from Pakistan Interna-

Recently some cases have been detected where containers have been shifted to QSF which were neither opened nor de-stuffed in the presence of customs officers

tional Containers Terminal (PICT)/Port Qasim to Qasim Freight Station (QSF), the sources said. The procedure laid down also requires that after permission, the containers will be de-sealed and transported to QSF under customs’ supervision. Furthermore, upon reaching QSF, the containers are to be opened and de-stuffed in the presence of the customs staff. FBR has been informed that recently some cases have been detected where containers have been shifted to QSF which were neither opened nor de-stuffed in the presence of customs ofPicers, the sources said. The Customs authorities have informed that recently some importers got removed the goods from a port area by presenting fake GDs. The goods were imported but the importers never claimed the consignment, which resulted in de-stufPing in the port area. After de-stufPing the goods the importers fraudulently presented fake GDs to remove them without paying duty and taxes. FBR has been further informed that no periodical account of cleared/unclaimed containers was taken by the collectorates that was mandatory to Pind out leakages. 

to make provisional tax assessment, he added. Out of 30,333 notices, over 7,000 or about one-fourth of the total notices were served in Lahore. In response, only 36 persons came in the net and paid Rs824,030 in income tax, according to the FBR Pigures. In Peshawar, FBR served 3,364 notices, just nine people Piled income tax returns and paid Rs22,500 tax. In Multan, 2,985 notices were handed over to the big Pish and in return 24 Piled income tax returns along with Rs1.6 million tax. In Rawalpindi, FBR served notices to 2,434 persons, just 30 people responded but paid Rs2.6 million worth of income tax. In Karachi, FBR served 2005 notices and 15 people Piled returns along with slightly over Rs1 million income tax. In Islamabad, the FBR served over 1,800 notices, 19 people came in the net and paid Rs1.1 million income tax. In Quetta FBR served over 1,000 notices, but only two persons Piled income tax returns. Similarly, in Gujranwala, FBR asked over 1,400 persons to Pile income tax returns but only one person came forward without paying any tax. 

Customs foils bid to smuggle 370g heroin to Birmingham akistan Customs’anti-smuggling unit at Allama Iqbal International Airport has foiled a bid to smuggle 370g of heroin to Birmingham. As per details, Sky Net courier service found a suspicious parcel of ten chess boards for Birmingham, UK and informed the customs authorities. The customs officials immediately reached the spot and seized 370 gram of heroin stuffed in 10 chess boards after a thorough examination of the parcel. Sky net sources said that the manager was astonished to see the parcel of chess boards which normally are imported to Pakistan from abroad. The sources said the clue led the Sky Net officials to consider that there was something wrong with the parcel and they decided to inform the Customs authorities. Customs Investigation & Prosecution I&P unit has registered an FIR against Akbar Ali khan who was reportedly sending the parcel to the UK. —CT Report

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NATIONAL 03

OCTOBER 29 - NOVEMBER 04, 2013

Belgium to help Pakistan upgrade marine academy

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Belgium in Pakistan Peter Claes called on Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Kamran Michael and offered assistance to set up an international standard facility for fish packing and storage at Gwadar port. The Ambassador also offered scholarships for Pakistani marine officers to give them training in Belgium. Michael said that Pakistan can earn millions of dollars through fish exports to European markets. Ministry of Ports and Shipping has decided to upgrade Marine Academy to Marine University.

CRO, PRAL being merged he exporters and importers are once again in a state of confusion as FBR is going to merge Central Registration office (CRO) and Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL). After the merger, a lot of traders would be suspended or blocked. Once an exporter or importer is blacklisted or blocked or their registration is suspended by the respective RTO and field officers, they have to send application to both the PRAL and CRO and will be restored after scrutiny. However, normally the traders just apply to PRAL to avoid registration process and do not go to CRO. PRAL is being overruled by CRO and almost 400 people are still blocked and suspended. —CT Report

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FBRtoovercome shortfallin2ndquarter ederal Board of Revenue will overcome the shortfall of first quarter in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2013. An official in FBR claimed this while talking to Customs Today here at FBR headquarters. He said that the target of first quarter is achievable in the next phase and out of the total Rs574 billion target, Rs197b would be collected under income tax, Rs279 through sales tax, Rs35b as federal excise duty, Rs63b as customs duty, while Rs23 billion would be refunded. The source said that FBR has issued about 3,333 notices to tax evaders for filing their returns and got very positive response. He maintained that Lahore gave the best response of all the cities but not a single return has been filed in Quetta. —CT Report

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gwadar Port will be functional in five months: Kamran Michael About 3,000 industries are being moved to Port Qasim and an uninterrupted electric supply will be ensured there for which 500 megawatt will be produced through a coal plant. KARACHI

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ederal Minister for Ports & Shipping Senator Kamran Michael has said that Gwadar Port will be made fully functional in the next Pive months as almost 60 per cent of development work has been completed. The federal minister said this while addressing the inaugural session of 3rd International Conference & Exhibition on Shipping, Logistics & Supply Chain Management 2013. The event was organised by the Publicity Channel in collaboration with Ministry of Ports & Shipping, Pakistan International Freight Forwarding Association, Pakistan Shipping Agents Association and Air Cargo Agents Association. The federal minister said that government is striving to explore trade avenues and boos business in the country. “We are going to buy four oil tankers for our Pleet after which we will be able to expand the Pleet of Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) up to 15 by the end of this year,” he told. Kamran Michael said that the ship-breaking industry is being moved to Port Qasim for which 170 acres of land has been earmarked and development work is being carried out. About 3,000 industries are being moved to Port Qasim, he said, adding that uninterrupted electric supply will be ensured

Ship-breaking industry is being moved to Port Qasim for which 170 acres of land has been earmarked and development work is being carried out, says Kamran Michael

there for which 500 megawatt will be produced through a coal plant. The British government will also help in producing another 600 megawatt with solid waste at Karachi Port, he added. The federal minister said that IT database system is being installed and will be made functional within next month at all ports, adding, “This will help to track containers movement throughout and status of custom duty also be monitored.” Responding to questions of journalists about Sindh Government’s letter to port authorities with regard to possession of government land, Kamran Michael said that they have not taken any illegal possession of Sindh Government’s land and in most cases they have

their own land. “Future of ports and shipping industry is very bright. We are trying our best to curb corruption in my ministry. We have identiPied more than 3000 ghost employees in Karachi Port Trust after which we have installed biometric attendance machine to ensure transparency. We should all work together for the promotion of economy”, he added. Chairman Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) Muhammad Siddique Memon said that shipping plays an important role in logistics and it’s growing. PNSC is now in the business of oil and bulk carrier and planning to add more tankers in its Pleet. “We are a proPit earning organisation now and have earned 1.9 million last year,” he added. 


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04 NATIONAL

OCTOBER 29 - NOVEMBER 04, 2013

Dubai customs sees smart service users expanding

DUBAI: Dubai Customs expects the number of users of its smart services launched early this month to grow very rapidly in the future. New customers are relying on mobile devices to obtain customs services and achieve the best possible results in their businesses and investments. The smart services help users save time, effort, and costs, and yield much higher revenues. The number of smart transactions is expected to grow by more than 20 per cent monthly during the next few months.

Customs‘one-window system’key to pushing imports, exports: gen Secy PIFFA KARACHI

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— Exclusive Customs Today photo

akistan Customs should introduce a “one-window system” for the enhancement of imports and exports, where all operations would be performed under one roof. This was stated by Habibullah A. Latif, General Secretary Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association (PIFFA) during an exclusive interview with Customs Today at his ofPice. PIFFA General Secre-

ent means of transportation to deliver the goods to the Pinal destination. Responding to a query, General Secretary PIFFA asserted that due to sluggishness of Customs ofPicials in examining and assessing the goods, terminal operators take full advantage of the said situation. “The members of PIFFA are trying to settle all the issues with the authorities concerned in order to ensure more facilitation for stakeholders”, he added. On the occasion, Habibullah A Latif demanded of the government to declare Saturday as a “working day” so that National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) at Customs House can

PIFFA has introduced a‘Multi-Model Transportation’ system in which freight forwarders are using different means of transportation to deliver the goods to the final destination tary further said that customs operations in foreign countries including Middle East are under one roof and importers and exporters get clearance of their goods within two hours. “Despite adequate resources, there is a lack of willingness in Customs Department in order to introduce more advanced methodology for the convenience of importers, exporters and other stakeholders”, Habibullah added. He further informed that PIFFA has introduced a “Multi-Model Transportation” system in which freight forwarders are using differ-

collect the tax levy and sea & dry ports can also continue operations normally on Saturday. “The executive body of PIFFA has already forwarded its recommendation in this regard to the National Trade & Transport Facilitation Committee (NTTFC) -- a standing committee established by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan to simplify trade and transport procedures -- but no action has yet been taken”, he asserted. He further said that now it’s up to the government to implement the PIFFA proposal for enhancement of revenues. 

Chief Collector for effective strategies to meet targets KARACHI

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hief Collector (Appraisement) South Nasir Masroor Ahmed held a meeting of high-ups of Model Customs Collectorate (MCC)-East at his office recently to discuss important issues. Sources in MCC-East informed Customs Today that Collector MCC-East Abdul Rashid Shaikh, Additional Collector Dr Farid Iqbal Qureshi and others officials were also present in the meeting. Chief Collector-Appraisement stressed the need for clearance of court cases, which are pending in the Sindh High Court (SHC) and other courts. “During the meeting, Chief Collector-Appraisement also discussed different modes of revenue generation and strategies to get full recovery for the fiscal year 2013-14”, they added. They further informed that Chief Collector (Appraisement) Nisar Masroor Ahmed also emphasized upon increasing means of revenue generation. Collector-MCC-East assured Chief Collector to formulate more effective strategies in order to increase revenue and get the court cases cleared. The sources further informed this scribe that Nasir Masroor would convene such meetings in the future as well. 

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commissionwantsincreaseinDgTT’s powers KARACHI

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he Commission on 'smuggling of arms and ammunition' has advised to enhance powers and functions of the Directorate General of Transit Trade (DGTT) of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to check missing of transit consignments destined for Afghanistan. Sources said that former FBR Member Customs Ramzan Bhatti has chalked out a comprehensive strategy to improve functions of the Directorate General of Transit Trade in his one-member commission report on 'smuggling of arms and ammunition'. According to sources, the Directorate General of Transit Trade should be made comprehensively functional and all wherewithal in-

cluding human resources should be provided for improving the efPiciency of the Directorate General in ensuring the safest and quickest transit of imported goods to Afghanistan. The Director General, Directorate General of Transit Trade (DGTT), Custom House, Karachi in a written statement has informed the Commission that along with DGTT, some related functions such as licensing of Bonded Carriers / Transport Operators, sealing, de-sealing, allowloading and gate-out operations at Karachi Port and en-route tracking and monitoring of the transit trade containers are being performed by other organisations including Preventive Collectorate and Appraisement Collectorate. The procedure is prescribed under SRO 601(I)/2011 dated 13.06.2011. At present, the Pinan-

cial and physical transaction is mostly carried out by the Border Agents at Chaman and Torkham. The Pinancial transaction is through Hawala or telegraphic transfer (TT). Due to absence of Electronic Data Exchange the actual consignee cannot be identiPied. The scanned image at Karachi cannot be reconciled due to absence of similar facility at Torkham/Chaman. Lastly, some faults with the tracking devices have also been identiPied. However, the aforementioned issues have been taken up with the Afghan Government for setting up an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for scanning facilities at Pak-Afghan Border. The attested copy of Jawaznama issued by Government of Afghanistan is the basic document upon which transit of goods is allowed by Pakistan Customs. 

Smuggled goods valued at $5-10b pouring into Pakistan annually he total value of goods smuggled into Pakistan has been estimated at over $5 billion per annum - according to estimates of the commission constituted on 'smuggling of arms and ammunition'. Sources told that former FBR Member Customs, Ramzan Bhatti has conducted detailed investigations and concluded that the total volume/value of smuggled items is estimated at over $5 billion. Sources disclosed that the estimated value of smuggled items on annual basis ranges between $5 billion to $10 billion. However, the figure quoted in the report has been on the lower side of $5 billion. Given the huge smuggling of gold and liquor has been taking place on annual basis, the

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estimated value of smuggling could range between $5 billion to $10 billion. The One-Member Commission has also given details of the smuggled items from Afghanistan, Iran, China, UAE, India and other countries, sources said. Referring to the report, sources said that the exact figures regarding total volume of smuggling are not available. However it can be safely assumed that a major chunk (over 60 percent) of merchandise imported by Afghanistan is meant for re-export/smuggling into Pakistan. Most of the goods brought in transit to Afghanistan either through Pakistan or Iran have no consumption in Afghanistan. —CT Report


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NATIONAL

OCTOBER 29 - NOVEMBER 04, 2013

05

Team formed to monitor BTB activities

FBR has constituted a team to enhance the coordination and monitoring of broadening of tax base (BTB) activities. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, PA to FBR Chairman, will be team leader while four members include Malik Amjad Zubair Tiwana Chief (Income Tax Policy), Imran Latif Minhas Secretary (Withholding Tax) FBR, Muhammad Khalid Jamil Secretary (Exemptions/Rules) FBR and Ijlal Khan Deputy Director (I&I) Lahore.

R&D Dept of Mcc East recovers Rs225m in tax evasion

Customs to instal RFID readers, scanners on transit trade routes

KARACHI

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esearch and Development (R&D) Department of Model Customs Collectorate (MCC)-East has recovered Rs 225 million (Rs 2.25 crores) in duty/tax evasion through mis-declaration reported in miscellaneous containers cases against M/s A to Z company and M/s H. A. Karim International. According to details, Directorate of Customs Intelligence and Investigation, Karachi Region had detected and seized three containers on August 15 and after investigations it was revealed that Rs 8.4 million duty was evaded by M/s A to Z company and M/s H. A. Karim International through misdeclaration. Subsequently, R&D Department of MCC-East had initiated further investigations into the matter and found that the amount of revenue lost in the cases was estimated at Rs 19,9 48,745 in all. Later, R&D Department of MCC Appraisement-East registered an FIR each against the owners of M/s H. A. Karim International, Muhammad Azfar Javed and proprietor of A to Z company, Shaikh Muhammad Khurram Shahzad for tax evasion of millions of rupees through misdeclaration and under-invoicing. 

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Afghan customs procedures hinder exports akistan customs is not satisfied with the computerisation of Afghan customs procedures as they still demand a copy of the invoice signed by Afghan customs, said official sources. As the invoice copy is not available anymore, this is adversely affecting exports to Afghanistan. Not only are the refunds of many industries in doldrums but many exporters have been fined for not providing a copy of the invoice of the cleared consignments to the Afghan importers. The Afghan Customs Clearance Document, popularly known as Gurmik, is not supplied by Afghan customs to importers as they now get a computer generated invoice.“Pakistan customs provided refunds on the basis of Gurmik. They do not accept the computer generated invoice,”said an exporter. “Not only are refunds disallowed but exporters are being fined for not being able to provide Gurmik after the clearance of goods in Afghanistan.” However, there are many exporters who do not claim refunds. —CT Report

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KARACHI

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akistan Customs is going to install RFID readers on Bulaili, Khairabad and Kohat tunnels to enhance the security of the containers. Sources in Pakistan Customs informed Customs Today that the Directorate of Transit Trade has written a letter to Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in this regard. They further said that the RFID readers would also be in-

stalled on the way to Chaman and Torkhum. “The proposal will be finalised in the current month of October and the work of installation of RFID will be started soon”, sources added. They further said that electronic scanners would also be installed at every check-post from Karachi to Quetta. “Those scanners would be electronically integrated with each other and show accurate reading of every container”, sources added. Senior customs officials said that enforcement and security of the containers on transit trade routes would definitely be im-

proved by installation of RFID and electronic scanners. Meanwhile, Pakistan Customs authorities have prepared a plan to launch automated clearance system, Web Based One Custom (WeBOC), for dealing with Afghan Transit Trade (ATT). In the 4th Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority (APTTCA) meeting concluded in Kabul, both sides decided to intensify efforts to enhance bilateral trade and facilitate the traders and businessmen of the two countries. The Pakistani side was led by Secretary Commerce Qasim M Niaz,

while the Afghan side was represented by Deputy Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industries Mozammil Shinwari. During the two-day meeting, it was agreed to resolve the outstanding issues relating to the implementation of APTTA. The meeting took important decisions to facilitate and encourage the transit trade of the two countries. In order to implement the Electronic Data Inter-change (EDI) connectivity and its utilisation for release of Pinancial guarantee, the meeting agreed to launch, initially, EDI pilot project by both sides at Torkham with effect from November 1, 2013. 

customsagents’proposalstoimproveweBOcaccepted KARACHI

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he Pakistan Customs has accepted several recommendations made by the customs agents to upgrade WeBOC System. The Karachi Customs Agents Association (KCAA), through its Letter No. KCAA772/2012-12 put forward some recommendations to the ofPicials concerned about the WeBOC computerised system, which were later implemented by Pakistan Customs. The recommendations are as follow: 1. Application shall provide the functionality to clearing agent to view all submitted GDs even if any trade disassociated him from his proPile. 2. Application shall provide the functionality to clearing agent to Pile for review of already accepted as-

sessed value. For example, application shall create a new menu with the name of ‘Accepted Reviews’ to show those GDs whose assessed value has been accepted by the clearing agent; application shall provide the functionality to clearing agent to open the GD in the ‘Accepted Reviews’ menu and Pile for review. This functionality will only be available after Pirst review. 3. Application shall provide the functionality to clearing agent to show lab reports. 4. Application shall print the time and arrival date of vessel in column 22 (Vessel Mode of Transport) of GD. 5. Application shall print the container number and marks in column 30 (Marks/Container No) of the GD. 6. Application shall allow to print full description of goods in case of long description. 7. Application shall print the out-

of-charged GD release date with time in column 63. 8. Application shall modify the note at the end of GD print from “this is an electronic statement, no signature or stamp is required”, to “this is a system generated document, it does not require signature or stamp”, as dePined in sub-section (kka) of Section 2 of Customs Act 1969. 9. Application shall print the vessel’s name and Export General Manifest (EGM) number in column 22 of GD after departure of vessel from the port. In case where the pay order amount is greater than payable amount, application shall provide the functionality to bank cashier to transfer the remaining amount to Project Director (PD) WeBOC account even if the amount is greater than Rs25,000. The sources further told Customs Today that the Pakistan Customs is going to bring some positive changes in WeBOC System soon to ensure more facilitation to the customs agents, importers and exporters. 


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SPECIALREPORT

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SPECIALREPORT 07

s to trie FBR n cou ms. pous custo evelo i r a h v nal se d er- uwit natio h the p und port n tio inter wit velo w op g ed e e ora rat e lab ilitate orkin s to d lore n o b th la fac lso w rtner d exp ir e cts is R. An a a a n b is nt p s a ed. Zu roje t FB nme nding e add mad ch p ent a FBR i end sta ies, h oham on su artm n of to att re nit Dr. M rking s dep nctio ng is d sha o an d hi t fu wi at wole of ortan toms tions ce an and of h t m D n r a s s n t p A e R co n MAB RA day. key er im nal cu conv forma ustom rmen ter rs, n I l ISLA ZA IStomsto e e h r o c f art ot nati iona e pe cal bett . hie is erFAIww.cus r, C eadqu role oter ernat m th s of lo s for bally to int i a w int h the ent idea es glo part s our king Zub R H eir ong ad at FB hat th f the es in m wit ievemh new edur n is a d it i wor nal t g o t ham toms said east chan men raach t fort proc kista ns an e are natio ful o M Cus has abr nd ple pe . r a pu toms id Pa entio . “W inter help , o D nal ad ep rms to im . Co s e b o e k i y cus He sa l conv themmore ld be f our int ma ly to refo also ocall ustom re th w a f a l ou nce o FBR ke Is t on oms but ds l al c ecu ers. ion ollo rt o w e a nat ty to f e pa which forma o. Th will t he no cust nally tren ation t to s port Cusdu becomions g per nt to nch on,� ing natio rging tern ortan nd im with ir to vent ovin rtme s bra ion so ter eme ong in y imp ers a view Zuba es t e i r r r d r h con impr depa ustom vent ry nt n am s ve xpo inte ma unt i d eve the i e o o for toms nal c O con s ti ple s of sive ham ll c e an s f y h cus natio n EC a d a p a r t o wh i c n d peo erest exclu r. Mu that a trad good ld w a r a s o D e s n n s i te t in l a int In an day, ntial anc ly of shou t ar d. d tha king chain teria good e o sse enh upp her p b T a e r s i d e s ly o ot add He sa is wo upply aw m cture le pro he tom d it is intly t cure to an ld on ion r t a e s c y t u i f s r r S o l a sa rk j ce. ntry is co per ci ong usat nt na get nu ing scou natio ntry e ma . This n am nal c wo mer e cou nd th e coo w h s s r o t m u l m te e co ack trie ratio natio m co m on red a clos s. sto an at ries ona e h i i o u u g t r r o n d s b c o u n l l a b o i n te r c s f en rou t al t a p n n n o e r sen other he co d the be ne th ll cou ation evel r cou many he inte ving th e to te s t s a n  r do ong a ntern g to d othe gned nts, o o o rie s. am The i trivin t with as si eeme of m in impr . ith e m ount bodie t r h w s s r g t c u a s s k i a s i l o p tr d n Ri ork ns l to m FB ere of his en ratio me helpfu ent to o o w zatio ank, c s e l t h e p m B a i p to oo ms gan rld ese to b ould be depart g and tual c sto or or O, Wo tc. Th oln u i u C c m ed. tan don WC k, e lete ork hich w stoms w e add Pakis ional WTO, t Ban omp ar ions w our cu e at ID, men in c n W r k A p e ent nce of int A, US evelo s wor v n o C c JI an D tion rma o f r Asi aniza pe org


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08 EDITORIAL

OCTOBER 29 - NOVEMBER 04, 2013

Founder & Chairman Zulfiqar Ali Editor Nasim Ahmed editor@customstoday.com.pk For advertising & subscription marketing@customstoday.com.pk +92-322-3370002 www.customstoday.com Phones: 042-35781643-4, Fax: 042-35781645 Address: 627, Siddiq Trade Centre, Gulberg, Lahore

EDITORIAL

Revenue from imports

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ccording to FBR’s official data, the country’s overall imports increased by 12 percent in dollar terms in the first quarter of the current financial year but the value of dutiable imports recorded a decline of 6.5 percent. An example of this is a fall of 23 percent in the import of auto parts and vehicles during the period under review. Other items which have showed a declining trend include steel, plastic, some items of foods such as chocolates. Previously, FBR used to collect over 40 percent taxes at the import stage, but given the present trend this target seems difficult of achievement.There has been a concomitant fall in revenue from customs duty which totalled Rs 55 billion from July 1, 2013 to October 3, 2013, marking a decline of Rs 2 billion as compared to the collection of Rs 57 billion in the same period of the last financial year. At a time when the government is pushing hard to achieve the tax target of Rs 2475 billion for 2013-14, the declining revenue from imports is giving sleepless nights to the authorities concerned. To assess the factors behind the negative trend FBR is said to have prepared a report according to which the volume of duty free imports has recently been rising because of the FreeTrade and PreferentialTrade Agreements the government has signed with other countries. On the other hand, numerous SROs and special exemptions and concessions also deprive the exchequer of much needed revenue. Another contributing factor is the rise in tax rates which act as a disincentive against import growth. In a situation like ours where the tax-to-GDP ratio is one of the lowest in the world, customs duty and sales tax on imports is, comparatively speaking, an important source of revenue for the government. Any decline in revenue collection at import stage is therefore a cause for special concern and calls for immediate remedial action. FBR authorities are reportedly working on a plan to revise valuation rates of those items which are not duty free in the light of the prevailing market situation. According to a report, FBR recently increased the fixed valuation on imports of cosmetics items from 88 cents to $2.5.This is sure to rake in more revenue for the government from the existing volume of imports. At the same time it is important to find ways and means to remove loopholes and distortions in the tax system of which tax evaders take the fullest advantage. As suggested by experts, one way to upgrade revenue collection at the import stage is to replicateWeBOC on all entry and exit points of the country in order to resolve the issue of mis-declaration and eliminate variations in application of valuation rates which results in the loss of much valuable revenue. Smuggling, a growing menace, is another area which calls for special efforts by the customs field formations. The total value of goods smuggled into Pakistan is estimated at over $5 billion per annum. By tightening its grip to minimize the leakage through smuggling, FBR can substantially add to its pool of revenue from imports. 

Declining forex reserves

closing the trade gap the only answer LAHORE

NASIM AHMED

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here is a growing gap between exports and imports, putting an unbearable pressure on the balance of payments. Of the myriad challenges facing the national economy, the most formidable is its vulnerable external position. The widening trade gap, steadily falling Pinancial inPlows and debt repayments have led to a marked drawdown of the forex reserves. According to the data released by the State Bank of Pakistan, in the Pirst week of this month, the gross reserves held by the central bank slipped below $4 billion, underlining the need for urgent remedial measures. In its recent report "South Asia

Economic Focus, the World Bank has drawn attention to this factor and pointed out that falling reserves constitute the most pressing short-term economic problem for Pakistan and it must be addressed on an emergency basis. According to the World Bank, although the current account dePicit has remained small due to a marginal improvement in export growth, deceleration in imports associated with the economic slowdown and inPlows of workers' remittance, the long-term risks to the economy remain. Pakistan's unsustainable Piscal imbalance lies at the root of the current crisis. The consolidated Piscal dePicit exceeded by a sizeable margin the budgeted target, to return to 8 percent of GDP in 201213. SigniPicant shortfalls in revenue and a sharp overrun in energy sub-

sidies worsened the already-large Piscal dePicit. The World Bank report warns that Pakistan 'will not be able to recover without major structural reforms, especially in tax administration and the energy sector'. But, despite persistent efforts by FBR, tax revenue has not risen. In fact, the tax ratio fell to 9.6 percent of GDP in 2012-13. On the energy front, the government faces the painful and most unpopular task of revising the electricity tariff. The overall growth prospects remain uncertain. The World Bank report states that a cautious estimate would put GDP growth for 2013-14 at the same level as last year. The bank’s estimate is one percentage point higher than the projection made by the International Monetary Fund which is pressing Pakistan to reverse its easy Piscal and monetary policies

and economists believe this change will shave one to two percentage points off growth this year. By contrast, the Asian Development Bank has forecast that the pace of growth in Pakistan will slow down to 3 percent. However, despite all the setbacks, some sectors are still doing well, such as agriculture and large-scale manufacturing. It is expected that Piscal consolidation may enhance general investor perceptions about the economy and government performance. Needless to say, if reforms are adopted and implemented promptly, this would also contribute to keeping inPlation low, thereby improving the investment climate. This will help manufacturing and boost exports. It is export growth alone which in the long run can address the issue of external vulnerability. 


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PICTORIAL

OCTOBER 29 - NOVEMBER 04, 2013

Aftab Baloch given look-after charge of Member Accounting at FBR

ISLAMABAD: Aftab Anwar Baloch a (BS-21) officer of Pakistan Customs Service Group presently posted as Member Enforcement, Federal Board of Revenue (Hq), Islamabad is assigned look-after charge of the post of Member (Accounting) FBR (Hq), Islamabad during the leave period of Khawaja Tanveer Ahmad (IRS/BS-21) w.e.f. 22-10-2013 to 11.11.2013.

can FBR achieve its vaunted tax target? ISLAMABAD

SM HAIDER

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BR has extended the deadline for Piling of income tax returns up to November 30, 2013. It was the second consecutive extension in the deadline as earlier the date was extended from September 30 to October 31 and now it has been extended again up to November 30. “We have granted extension in date of Piling income tax returns on the demand of the business community,” Member Inland Revenue (Policy) Shahid Hussain Asad said. FBR issued a circular under section 214A of Income Tax Ordinance 2001 and extended the date for Piling of returns up to November 30, 2013. FBR is facing a difficult task to display its desired tax collection target of Rs 2475 billion on its board for the current fiscal year against a collection of Rs 1939 billion in last financial year. FBR envisaged its target of Rs 2475 billion on the basis of this assumption that the board would display Rs 2007 billion in last financial year but finally the actual collection fell further short

of its several time revised target and remained at Rs 1939 billion. So there was inbuilt shortfall of Rs 70 billion from day one. Although, FBR took the highest ever taxation measures by increasing tax rates but still achieving of the desired target of Rs 2475 billion seems highly ambitious. Another challenge for FBR is a narrow tax base. FBR had received just over 711,000 returns in last Pinancial year. FBR has envisaged a target to increase number of return Pilers by 20 percent during the current Piscal year. Although, FBR is sending notices to potential tax dodgers under IMF’s performance criteria

but the pace of return Pilers is simply dismal because non-Pil-

— Exclusive Customs Today photos

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal chairing inaugural meeting of the Advisory Committee of Planning Commission.

LAHORE: APTMA Chairman S.M. Tanveer talks to M.D. SNGPL, Arif Hameed. Goher Ijaz and Danish Manoo were also present on the occasion.

ers knew its enforcement capacity. FBR has so far failed to broaden its narrow tax base that ultimately resulted into burdening more to its existing taxpayers by adopting the policy to hike tax rates. There was another Plaw that the Universal Self Assessment Scheme (USAS) was introduced in 2002 without conducting an effective audit that promoted the culture of tax evasion in the country. Now FBR has resumed its redundant audit on both sales tax and income tax side but the tax machinery would have to ensure its effectiveness to a c h i e v e higher revenues in accordance with the real potential of existing under-Pilers. For tapping the potential non-Pilers, FBR will have to come up with innovative ideas, otherwise the stagn a n t tax-to-GDP ratio below 9 percent will remain hovering in the same range over the medium term which can pose a real threat to the Pinancial viability of this country. 

Govt to come up with plan to abolish tax exemptions ISLAMABAD

cUSTOMS TODAY REPORT www.customstoday.com

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he government is committed with IMF to present a plan for abolishing tax exemptions of all major taxes worth Rs 450 billion including income tax, sales tax and customs duty till end of December 2013. In order to obtain bailout package of $6.67 billion from IMF under Extended Fund Facility (EFF), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is preparing a plan to identify all kinds of tax exemptions exist in all major taxes and then separate them into classification of necessary and unnecessary exemptions and left the decision to the political elites that which kind of exemptions would be abolished in staggered manner under IMF’s conditionalities. According to FBR’s assessment, the estimated cost of exemptions provided in customs duty stood at Rs 130 billion, sales tax Rs 240 billion and income tax Rs 80 billion. The break-up of exemptions in customs duty showed that Pakistan had signed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) with different countries and tax collection was facing a dent of Rs 30 billion on account of these agreements. Being signatory of FTAs and PTAs as a sovereign state, it would not be possible to abandon honoring these agreements so exemptions available through such agreements would remain to stay. “There are tax exemptions with estimated cost of Rs 80 to 90 billion which are being provided to different sectors through discretionary Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs),” said one of the top officials of FBR and added that FBR was working on devising a plan to abolish all such exemptions where there was no economic justification. But the government, he said, would have to show political will for abolishing such tax exemptions because there were very deep vested interest groups benefiting from such arrangements. When the government would move ahead with abolishing these exemptions, the vested interests would raise hue and cry. There are different rates of customs duty for different sectors of the economy. There are over 6,666 tariff lines and FBR authorities are studying rates of different sectors to ensure equitable treatment where economic rationale allows and also adhere to protect the local industry and where it is required. On customs duty collection, the official said that out of total imports of the country, almost 67 percent imports were exempted from levying any taxes and only 33 percent imports were dutiable. The dutiable imports are on the decline in the country as it dropped to 33.8 percent in first quarter (July-Sept) period of the current fiscal year from 37.4 percent in the same period of the last financial year. 

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10 NATIONAL

OCTOBER 29 - NOVEMBER 04, 2013

Pakistan’s perishable goods export to central Asia to get a boost

KARACHI: Accepting a longstanding demand by Pakistani exporters, Afghanistan has assured Pakistan that it will soon stop collecting financial security from Pakistani exporters crossing Afghanistan to reach Central Asian markets. Pakistani exporters say that the development will increase Pakistani exports to Central Asia, especially exports of dry fruits, vegetables and fresh fruits owing to low duty structure on such items.

Customsgearsup anti-smugglingoperations

Mcc Preventive faces shortage of field staff: Niazi Additional Collector Headquarters says Pakistan Customs is facing scarcity of boats, launches, patrolling ships and other latest equipment KARACHI

SOHAIL RAB KHAN — Exclusive Customs Today photo

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Director Intelligence & Investigation Karachi Dr. Manzoor Memon From page 01 nine cases seizing smuggled vehicles worth Rs 2.44 million and confiscated contraband goods worth Rs38.60 million in 18 cases. According to details of September, third month of the first quarter 2013, Lahore anti-smuggling wing impounded MS sheets 12301 kg worth Rs1.20 million, diesel generator 75 KVA Rs.75m, Suzuki Jeep BNA-8604 Rs 0.30 million, used LCD/computer 512 pcs worth Rs 0.50 million, gents shirting cloth 1047 kg Rs 0.53 million, A/S ladies cloth 4500 yd worth Rs0.14m, skimmed milk powder 2500 kg Rs 1.00 million, welding electrode 18000 pcs worth Rs 0.25 million, iron steel re-meltable scrap & old/used steel sheet 13mt & 6mt worth Rs 0.80m, polythene 25 bags worth Rs 0.14m, used generator 350 KVA worth Rs 2.40, polythene bags 1200 kg worth Rs 0.29m, used generator 500 KVA worth Rs 3.90m and miscellaneous goods worth Rs1.50m. During the same month the wing impounded gents suiting cloth 975 kg worth Rs 0.80m, polythene (plastic dana) 675 kg worth Rs 0.14m, polythene bags 25 bags worth Rs 0.14m, used generator 350 KVA worth Rs 2.40, polythene bags 1200kg worth Rs 0.29m, used generator 500 KVA worth Rs 3.90m and miscellaneous goods worth Rs1.50m. Customs officials seized gents suiting cloth 975 kg worth Rs 0.80m, polythene (plastic dana) 675 kg worth Rs 0.14m, printed PVC sheet Rs1.00m, aluminum foil 1000 kg worth Rs 0.50m, fuel system high flash 3420 kg worth Rs 1.50m, Toyota Corolla car worth Rs 0.70m, auto parts HTV worth Rs 0.59m, plastic dana (50 bags) 1250 kg worth Rs 0.25m. Similarly, during the month of September, two cases were registered and Rs 17.93m worth of contraband goods in 18 cases were confiscated. 

wRITE TO US YOUR gRIEVANcES: Through cUSTOMS TODAY platform HELP DESK, now you have chance to DIREcTLY write your problems to top govt. functionaries. If you have any grievances, queries, questions or suggestions, you can write in this section as it provides easiest access to you to approach Customs and Revenue authorities. wHO can write in this section? Importers & Exporters, Customs Agents, Chambers of Commerce, Trade Associations and Customs Officers TO wHOM you can write? Honourable PM, Minister/Secretary for Finance & Revenue, Minister/Secretary for Ports and Shipping, FBR Chairman, Member Customs and Chairperson Senate/National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance & Revenue. Send your letters at: letters@customstoday.com.pk

odel Customs Collectorate (MCC) Preventive is facing acute shortage of field staff and needs urgent recruitment of additional work force to enhance performance. Additional Collector Headquarters (HQs) Shafqat Ali Khan Niazi said this while talking to Customs Today at his office in Customs House. The Additional Collector (HQs) said that the authorities have written letters to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) regarding the shortage of staff in MCC Preventive. Replying to a query, said that the Pakistan Customs is also facing scarcity of boats, launches, patrolling ships and other latest equipment, adding that the authorities concerned have also written to FBR about this issue. Shafqat Ali Khan Niazi further revealed that the supervisory section of MCC Preventive is not strong enough, as it has only 12 officials to oversee the entire operation in the sea. Talking about the Central Control Room (CCR), Niazi said that it was working round-the-clock and the Customs as well as track-

Pakistan Customs wants to promote the transit trade routes and FBR in this regard is considering to introduce more companies in the tracking system so that the tracking of the containers on the transit trade routes could be enhanced further and more facilities provided to the importers, says Shafqat Ali Khan Niazi

ing company officials are checking every movement of the containers throughout the day. “As many as 14,787 containers have reached their destinations since May 2013”, he said. The Additional Collector (HQs) said that the Mobile Enforcement Units (MEUs) are working actively with the coordination of the Customs department and responding quickly in case of any complaint. Niazi maintained that Pakistan Customs wants to promote the transit trade routes and FBR in this regard is considering to introduce more companies in the tracking system so that the tracking of the containers on the transit trade routes could be enhanced further and more facilities provided to the importers. “Pakistan Customs is planning to develop more transit trade routes from Karachi to Balochistan,” the Additional Collector (HQs) added. Commenting on the tracking system, Shafqat Ali Khan Niazi said that the said system is working well and will improve day by day. To a query, Additional Collector Headquarters said that the Customs authorities have received appreciation letters from the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI) and other trade bodies in connection with the tracking service provided to them. 

A fervent appeal for help Mian Nawaz Sharif Prime Minister of Pakistan, Islamabad Respected Sir

We, members of the importer community, are badly affected by the increase in Sales Tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) by 2 to 3per cent respectively. The importers of the country are also facing multiple problems in terms of clearance of goods at different terminals, lack of efPiciency in Customs Department, increase in freight rates due to a rise in the rates of POL products and depreciation of the Pak Rupee against the dollar. All this will dePinitely increase the cost of doing business and of imported goods which will ultimately affect the common men.I wish to bring to

your notice the fact that the clearance at terminals is not managed properly and it usually takes 5 to 6 days despite an adequate number of customs ofPicials and terminal operators. Because of lack of efPiciency on the part of the customs and terminal staff we not only suffer mental agony but also tremendous Pinancial loss. Mr. Prime Minister, we know that your government is business friendly and taking steps to improve the business and investment climate in the country. In view of this we appeal to you to take immediate notice of the difPiculties the importers face in getting their goods cleared promptly and issue orders to the relevant authorities to solve our problems. With profound regards, Muhammad Arshad Jamal Karachi


www.customstoday.com OCTOBER 29 - NOVEMBER 04, 2013

Fall in rupee value to help boost revenue collection

LAHORE: Despite low revenue collection in the first quarter, the tax managers have expressed the hope to achieve the target of Rs2,475 billion on the basis of rupee depreciation and high inflation. FBR has collected Rs481 billion in the first three months of the current fiscal year, which is around 19 percent of the target assigned to the revenue body for the current fiscal year. The revenue collection should be around Rs544 billion, or 22 percent, of the total revenue to smooth the way for further collection in the remaining months of 2013-14.

CARTOONSSPECIAL

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Tuseday october 29 2013 to monday november 4 2013