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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) on Tuesday directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to immediately install mobile scanners at Chaman Customs Station, Quetta to avoid the mis-declaration of cargo under the transit scheme.

While conducting an own motion investigation relating to installment of weighbridges at customs station, Chaman, the Tax Ombudsman has observed that till installation of proper scanning facility under the ITTMS Program mobile scanners should be installed at Chaman Station in order to avoid the instances of mis-declaration of cargo, specially under the transit scheme. Briefly, a new weighbridge had been notified by the DG (Transit Trade), Karachi with directions that weighment reports from the new weighbridge viz Halting station Chaman would be acceptable to Customs authorities in exclusion of the existing two weigh stations viz Afghanistan handling Chaman.

The FTO sought secretary Revenue Division for comments and accordingly, Directorate of Transit Trade Quetta informed that NLC Terminal Operator at Chaman had been unable to provide space infrastructure, weighbridge required for processing of Afghanistan bound transit cargo due to disruption caused by the ongoing Integrated Transit Trade Management System ITTMS; therefore, the Directorate was constrained to process such forward transit cargo under an ad-hoc arrangement at halting station Chaman.

In order to improve custom controls at halting station, operator, thereof was required to improve facilities at the premises including provision of a proper weighbridge.

The relevant authorities authorized installation of weighbridge to the owner of the halting station on profit-sharing basis and accordingly a proper weighbridge had been installed whereon customs supervision was easily possible.

Before that, weighment of transit cargo was being carried out at two privately-owned weighbridges located 7-8 Km away from the halting station which made it impossible to supervise.

In view of the above, no maladministration had been committed by the Transit Directorate.

It was also evident that the department has got weighment and examination yard established just next to the friendship gate at Chaman Boarder, which was physically supervised by the customs staff.

Since there was no maladministration: therefore, the investigation was disposed of with the FTO’s directions to the FBR to make immediate efforts for installing mobile scanner temporarily at halting station, Chaman till the operationalization of the ITTMS at Chaman ,Quetta.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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