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ISLAMABAD: The Customs Region (North) of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has collected an amount of Rs11,448 million as customs duty during the first six months (July-December) 2020-21 against the assigned target of Rs10,275 million showing an increase of Rs1,173 million (11 percent growth).

Latest data revealed that under the head of customs duty, the Region collected Rs2,641 million during December 2020 against the monthly target of Rs1,865 million, surpassing the monthly target by a hefty margin of Rs776 million (42 percent).

In other taxes, an amount of Rs2,851 million was collected under the head of sales tax whereas; Rs6,407 million has been collected as overall duty/taxes during the month by the Customs Region (North).

The Region has so far been able to collect a total of Rs27,612 million as duty/taxes during the period July–December (2020-21).

In spite of continuous closure of the Pak-China Border (Border Customs Station, Sust) due to the Covid-19 pandemic, other Collectorates of the region that is, MCC Islamabad; MCC (Appraisement and Facilitation), Peshawar performed exceptionally well enabling the region to achieve the overall revenue target of the Region, also covering Rs2,025 million as the Customs duty target, assigned to MCC Gilgit-Baltistan for July-December 2020.

An important initiative during the period was the operationalisation of another border crossing point on Pak-Afghan border for commercial trade at Angoor Adda, South Waziristan Tribal district on September 24, 2020, which has now become fully operational with the assistance of FC South and other law enforcement agencies.

On the import side, so far MCC (A&F), Peshawar was able to collect an amount of Rs334 million as duty/taxes from the station till 31.12.2020, wherein, 4,172 vehicles, carrying import goods, valuing Rs1,540.47 million, have been cleared.

On the export side, a total of 4,963 vehicles, carrying goods valuing US $10.67 million are exported to Afghanistan during the same period.

The projected revenue from the station during the current financial year is expected to be around Rs2 billion, export data revealed.

It is relevant to mention that the Customs Region (North) comprises four Collectorates including Model Customs Collectorates of Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan, MCC (Appraisement and Facilitation), Peshawar and MCC (Enforcement and Compliance), Peshawar covering Islamabad/Rawalpindi, the whole of KP as well as the merged districts of erstwhile FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan.

On the counter-smuggling side, keeping up with the vision of the prime minister to curb the menace of smuggling, the Customs Region (North) seized goods worth Rs7,054 million during the period under report which is Rs2,997 million (74 percent) more than the corresponding period of the last financial year.

The performance of MCC (E&C), Peshawar stood exceptional as goods worth Rs5,991 million have been seized during the subject period including NDP vehicles, dry/fresh fruits, narcotics, foreign origin fabric, tyres, electronics, cigarettes, and other miscellaneous commodities.

The staff of MCC (Enforcement; Compliance), Peshawar affected a major case where gold jewelry (approximately three kgs); Saudi Riyals (500,000) were seized at Customs Station Kharlachi, Kurram.

Approximate value of the seizure has been calculated to Rs48 million which is the first ever such case in south KP Customs Border Stations.

On the other side, MCC Islamabad also affected significant seizures of goods and vehicles valuing to Rs1,063 million.

A glaring feature of the above stated brilliant performance is that a considerable number of seizures have taken effect on the intelligence-based specific information pertaining to smuggled goods concealed or mixed with other commodities.

Moreover, ever since joining of Javed Ghani as chairman FBR and Syed Tariq Huda as Member Customs (Operations), strict directives have been issued to all the enforcement formations for affecting mega cases and curbing the menace of smuggling in close coordination/liaison with other law enforcement agencies through regular visits to field formations and personally monitoring anti-smuggling operations. In line with these directions, field formations of North Region made all out efforts and has geared up anti-smuggling operations for affecting mega cases and realising maximum legitimate government revenue, customs department added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021