KARACHI: The Commandant of the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), Brig Syed Waqar Haider Rizvi, has said that the ANF’s examination procedure can be expedited if it is given access to the WeBOC system which is being demanded for the last three years, but, unfortunately, the customs authorities were reluctant to give WeBOC access.
“If we get access to WeBOC, it would make things easier for us and minimize the grievances being faced by business community. Although we have been constantly demanding access to WeBOC yet the KCCI must also do the same and take up this matter with higher authorities so that ANF gets WeBOC access which would surely prove favorable for all stakeholders,” he added while speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
While referring to inspections being carried out by ANF and customs authorities at the airports, he said that the customs authorities initially carried out the inspection of baggage while ANF staff was the last one to perform the same task at the airport which outrages many passengers as they have to go through the same procedure again.
“Hence, we felt it necessary to request customs authorities to jointly carry out the examination with ANF officials so that passengers’ hardships could be minimized but the customs authorities have not taken ANF’s request into consideration.”
Replying to concerns expressed by the participants of the meeting over unavailability of ANF staff that often delays the examination, he said that majority of the terminal operators and port authorities were unwilling to give space to ANF for setting up a small office which was the basic reason for delays. However, ANF with a workforce of 3,000 personnel only across Pakistan was trying its best to deliver within the available limited resources.
“All stakeholders including traders, port authorities, customs, ANF and Pakistan Coast Guards must sit together to discuss and resolve problems surfacing due to poor repacking after examination,” the ANF commandant said while responding to apprehensions expressed by the KCCI members over poor repacking that damages the goods in transit.
The ANF commandant said that the KCCI should give a focal person so that the issues faced by its members in dealing with the ANF could be swiftly resolved.
KCCI president Shariq Vohra said that the ANF must focus on improving its perception and had to fully facilitate the business community as in many cases the force was being accused of creating hurdles and delaying the clearance procedure.
He was of the opinion that interaction between the KCCI and the ANF must regularly take place.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021