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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to empower the chief collector of Customs to conduct regular inspection and audit of subordinate offices of the Model Customs Collectorates (MCCs) within their respective jurisdiction.

According to an order issued by the FTO here on Tuesday, on receipt of numerous complaints of incompetence, inefficiency, and exercise of powers for corrupt and improper motives, an own motion investigation was initiated through exercise of jurisdiction conferred under section 9(1) of the Federal Tax Ombudsman,2000 (FTO Ordinance) by the FTO, who constituted an inspection team.

The inspection team visited various sections of the MCC, Quetta and inspected record of the seizure, law, audit/PAC Cell, refund/rebate branch, adjudication branch, MTO/seizure branch, Auction Cell, and unearthed many irregularities.

In the pursuance of the FTO’S observations, recommendations have been made for improvement of the Collectorate(s) functions, to forestall the chances of malpractices and corruption.

The FTO order said the chief collector of Customs may be empowered through a Customs General Order issued by the FBR to conduct regular inspection and audit of sub-ordinate offices in his jurisdiction.

After every inspection, a report may be submitted to the Member Customs with recommendations for improvement in working and increase inefficiency.

The order further stated that instructions maybe issued to all the Collectorates by the FBR to streamline the record-keeping with regard to seizures, adjudication, disposals and litigations in soft and hard manner, duly certified and inspected by senior officers periodically to improve performance of the field formations.

He further directed that sufficient and trained staff may be provided to the Model Customs Collectorate, Quetta (Appraisement) and Adjudication.

The FTO office said that as a short-term measure, trained staff from other Collectorates may be posted for regular/fixed tenure, so as to meet the staff efficiency sufficient and trained staff may be provided to the Model Customs Collectorate, Quetta (Appraisement) and Adjudication.

He purposed that trained staff from other Collectorates may be posted for regular/fixed tenure, so as to meet the staffed efficiency.

The Collectorates should be advised by the FBR to revamp the auction cell and implement the auction rules in letter and spirit.

It should be ensured that the assessment and auction of vehicles shall be made according to the provisions of para-7 Of CGO 12/2002 ibid.

A committee of appraisers/principal appraisers headed by assistant/deputy collector auctions may be constituted to ensure proper assessment /valuation of the vehicles and goods.

The vehicles and goods ripe for disposal shall be widely publicised through electronic and print media and the FBR website to ensure wide participation and healthy competition among bidders.

Investigation and Prosecution Sections of the field formations shall be strengthened with induction of additional workforce and proper training may be imparted to the concerned staff to enhance their professional capacity.

Posting of Collector Adjudication and other officers/officials of the adjudication may be made at Quetta on an urgent basis and to ensure timely and quality adjudication of the cases, the FTO’s directions to the FBR added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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