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KARACHI: Chief Collector Customs South Wajid Ali during his visit to Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) said steps are being taken to facilitate the business community and for the first time a historic tax also collected.

We are bringing innovations in Customs department and modern technology being used to prevent smuggling, he added.

He said the Customs department is of utmost importance in the country.

Wajid Ali said the Customs department prevents billions of rupees worth of drugs from entering the country every year and destroyed in the presence of media.

Chief Collector Customs South added that help desks would be set up in key industrial areas like KATI to provide better facilities to the business community.

KATI President Salman Aslam said that Chief Collector Customs South Wajid Ali had also served as the Director of the Directorate of Reforms and Automation Customs.

He said that effective measures should be taken to curb smuggling to discourage smuggling in the country and eliminate the damage done to the national exchequer.

Steps should be taken to allocate National Bank branches in all industrial areas for submission of duties.

A special coordination desk should also be set up for the convenience of the exporters, importers and industrialists. Branches established in trading centers and industrial areas where duty-related facilities are available.

President KATI said that issues related to the delivery of goods at the port should be resolved immediately. Delivery points should be set up in industrial areas and more licenses should be issued to facilitate and expedite the delivery of imported goods.

Salman Aslam said that maximum facilities should be provided to the exporters and industrialists for the submission of duty. This is not only necessary for the promotion of economic activities in the country but it will also increase the duty collection itself.

On the occasion, Faraz-ur-Rehman, Chairman Standing Committee, said that an online complaint mechanism should be set up to address all the issues, concerns, and grievances of the business community related to the Customs. Absence of container terminals regulation body, delay in refunds, unfair demurrage charges, digitisation and inadequate investment in container scanners, HS and PCT code inadequate diversification, negligence of the principle of cascading on industrial raw materials and inadequate consultation process with the stakeholders of the business community are major obstacles to the smooth running of Customs operations.

He said that Karachi gives 70 percent of the revenue of the country and huge amount of revenue comes from Korangi Industrial Area, therefore the problems of Korangi Industrial Area should be solved on a priority basis.

Faraz-ur-Rehman further said the regulatory authority should be set up for container terminals to improve the working procedures between traders and container terminals.

The process of revision must continue to adapt to the ever-changing commercial and industrial environment of tariff rationalisation. He said the monopoly of shipping companies that demand an exorbitant price from exporters should be abolished which would increase the cost of the exporters.

There should be a continuous consultation process between the industrialists and FBR members and policymakers.

The chairman of the standing committee suggested that a focal person be posted in KATI for Customs matters and their resolution so that immediate action could be taken on the problems and irregularities faced by the business community.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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