ISLAMABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has taken suo moto notice of the stuck-up consignments of imported soybean, i.e., poultry feed at Port Qasim, Karachi by the Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation (I&I) Customs, Karachi and Department of Plant Protection.
Due to the non-availability of the imported feed, it is apprehended that the poultry farms would shut down their operations across the country. There is no alternative of soybean or soybean meal for the poultry feed as further delay in clearance of the imported consignments would result in a severe shortage of chicken and eggs in the country, the industry shared consequences of the issue with the FTO.
To immediately resolve the issue, the FTO has intervened to clear the stuck-up consignments of the imported soybean and taken suo motu notice of the case. The FTO has issued notices to the secretary Revenue Division; secretary Ministry of Food Security and Research; secretary Ministry of Climate Change; director general Directorate General of Intelligence & Investigation-Customs, Chief Customs (F&C), Federal Board of Revenue and Chaudhary Muhammad Ashraf chairman Pakistan Poultry Association for hearing of the case on December 8, 2022.
The Pakistan Poultry Association informed the FTO about the current situation of the poultry feed mills to continue their production because of the non-availability of soybean and soybean meal which is the most essential feed ingredient.
The price of the presently available limited stock of soybean meal is skyrocketing, also all the feed mills of Pakistan will run out of soybean meal stock in one week from now, resulting in the manufacturing of feed without soybean meal and that feed will not support the growth of broilers and production of eggs in layer birds, resulting into a shortage of broiler meat and eggs in the country within two weeks from now, which eventually would result in a threat to national food security.
The PPA is submitting prior intimation for the threat to protein food security as subsequent to feed mills’ closure, the poultry farms providing chicken, eggs, and inputs for other poultry processed products would resultantly have to close their farms because of the non-availability of feed.
The consequences of a shutdown of feed mills can be summarised as follows: (a) Due to the non-availability of feed, poultry farmers will be forced to shut down their operations; (b) Dire shortage of chicken, at present it is comparatively the cheapest source of protein; and (c) Severe shortage of processed chicken items and eggs.
There will be no buyer of day-old chicks because of the non-availability of feed which will lead to the culling of breeder flocks and the shutting down of hatcheries, it added.
According to the FTO, the complaint has been filed by the Pakistan Poultry Association.
A preliminary hearing in the said complaint had been held on November 30, 2022, wherein, the secretary general Pakistan Poultry Association, Islamabad, appeared and provided copies of letters issued by the Directorate of Intelligence & Investigation-Customs, Karachi and the Department of Plant Protection, and stated that due to departure from established practice, unreasonable, unjust, biased, discriminatory and without jurisdiction intervention of the Directorate of I&I Customs, Karachi, the Department of Plant Protection is not issuing the required NOCs for clearance of their legally imported nine consignments of soybean, stuck up at Port M Bin Qasim, Karachi, which is tantamount to maladministration and needs the intervention of the FTO in the matter.
Now, the FTO has ordered to conduct an investigation of the said complaint and the hearing of the subject complaint has been fixed on December 8, 2022, at the FTO Secretariat.
It is required to appear for hearing on the date and time afore-stated personally or through a duly-appointed attorney or departmental representative not below the status of BS-18/19, with para-wise comments along with all the relevant record, evidence and witnesses, the FTO’s notice said.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022