Complicated rules encouraging smuggling: moot told

KARACHI: Custom’s complicated policies, rules and regulations are encouraging smuggling which ultimately affects the local industry, says Zakaria Usman President President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI).

The smuggling of different items from Iran through Balochistan, including Chaman Border, has been badly effecting local industry of Pakistan and the government was also well aware of it. This underscores the need to take more positive steps by the Customs authorities to protect the local industries and legal importers.

This was stated by Zakaria Usman, President and Tariq Sayeed, former FPCCI in a meeting with Muhammad Yahya, Chief Collector Customs – Enforcement (South) who visited FPCCI Head Office Karachi along with Wsif Ali Memon, Collector Customs (MCC Exports) and Agha Shahid Majeed Khan, Collector of Model Customs Collectorate, Port Qasim.

Usman further stated that the black economy is growing in the country due to unabated increase in smuggling activities. “The Customs authorities should find out the reasons that why the smuggling of such items is increasing which can be imported through legal channel easily. The reason may be the complicated policies for legal tax payers. The valuation department of Customs needs more improvement as now a day the procedures of the valuation of items are complicated.” He suggested that all items should be attached with the international publications which will be very easy to the customs authorities as well as the tax payers.

The meeting was attended by Shaukat Ahmed, Sr Vice President and Mazhar Ali Nasir, Khurram Sayeed, Vice Presidents of FPCCI and Saqib Fayyaz Maggon, Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Customs who identified the smuggling of plastic granules, sulphonic acid, tiles and other items and said it is discouraging the real importers and giving loss to the relevant industries. They also invited the attention of the Collector Customs towards the problems in customs clearance and under invoicing due to which the local industries are badly affected.

Muhammad Yahya, Chief Collector Customs Enforcement, informed that the Customs Department has been doing its utmost efforts in this regards due to which the smuggling activities have been reduced to some extent and that their efforts would be continued.

He urged business community for utilization maximum available resources to curb the smuggling. He also proposed that the FPCCI’s budget proposals should first be consulted with the relevant Customs Collectorates so that FBR may feel it comfortable to understand and incorporate them in the budget.

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