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ISLAMABAD: Despite billions of rupees in tax payments, legal trade and all documents, trawlers and trucks are stopped for hours at about 28 checkpoints from Iran border (250).

The Border Traders Association (BTA) said in a statement on Friday that while conducting legal trade from border under the FBR and customs, we collect billions of rupees annually in the treasury of the government of Pakistan and collect taxes by doing our utmost to stabilise the national economy.

All items exported from Iran are as per the FBR list and after regular customs duty are cleared and after customs clearing are imported and sent to Karachi and other cities, but other agencies, our vehicles and trucks are stopped for hours and days, and unloaded under various pretexts and released without giving any proof and documents, while these checks are legally carried out at five or six checkposts on Customs Preventive Coastal Highway.

Through the means, the goods are stamped on the declaration form and sent to the truck.

Unnecessary unloading of goods from trucks, including ceramics tile, fruits and other food items, which have deteriorated in this scorching sun and hot weather, is costing the business community crores of rupees, the Border Traders Association said, adding that billions of rupees are lost annually.

Despite paying taxes, the border is deprived of all facilities, electricity and water.

The BTA says that we, the business community, want to expand tax payments by promoting legal business and attract people to pay taxes as per government policy, but some elements are using the institutions for their personal gain.

They are an obstacle to government policy and traders.

The drivers are deliberately detained at all checkpoints under specific instructions and the drivers are kept in custody, which makes it clear that they want the locals to give up this legal business and start an illegal business.

In order to perpetuate their system of extortion and bribery, we, the business community, try to bring people under the tax net in line with government policy, but the problem is that there are obstacles to legal work.

In this regard, we, the business community, have met the Chief Collector, Customs and other key officials and expressed our concerns to them in the form of a petition, but no action has been taken to resolve the issue.

While the officials of the concerned agencies have nothing to do with Pakistan’s taxes or the country’s economy, nor are they loyal to their agencies and duties, while on the other hand, the items that are not allowed to be imported according to the FBR list.

Easily accessible to all cities across the country, including Karachi, tax-free and readily available, but barricades are erected for the importation of items on the tax list.

Taxes will not be collected, which will be the sole responsibility of the concerned agencies.

Peaceful protests have been started from June 1 and the border has been closed for trade.

The border closure has resulted in truck lines on both sides of the border.

The government of Pakistan has lost crores of rupees in taxes.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021