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Print Print 2022-12-10

FTO orders FBR to release soybean consignments

  • To avert a serious crisis of the poultry industry, FTO says to immediately release nine stuck-up consignments at Port Qasim
Published December 10, 2022

ISLAMABAD: To avert a serious crisis of the poultry industry in the country, the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO), Friday, ordered the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to immediately release the nine stuck-up consignments of soybean seeds at Port M Qasim, Karachi.

Addressing a press conference, at the FTO Headquarters on Friday, the chief advisor to the FTO along with other advisors announced that the FTO has issued instructions to the secretary, Revenue Division/ chairman FBR, to communicate the recommendations to the secretaries, Ministry of Climate Change and Ministry of National Food Security and Research for immediate action.

Under the directive, the federal government is to give immediate written directions to the secretary Ministry of Climate Change under Rule 27 of the Biosafety Rules, 2005, to issue approval of deliberate release on a one-time basis as a special case under the provisions of the Rules 20 (2) on provision of assurance and undertakings from the importers/ complainant and relevant stakeholders.

On issuance of the one-time deliberate release order from the Ministry of Climate Change, under Rule 20(2) of the Biosafety Rules, 2005, the DG DPP, Karachi, to issue release orders of the nine stuck-up consignments of soybean seeds at Port M Qasim, Karachi.

Soybean consignments: FTO takes suo motu notice

The Collector, Collectorate of Customs, Port M Bin Qasim, Karachi, on receipt of release order from DPP, Karachi, immediately process the GDs of the stuck-up consignments of soybean and issue out of charge orders on one time basis, securing the stuck-up revenue, as per law; The EPA and National Biosafety Committee to process the pending applications of the GMO soybean importers for grant of license, as per law, under Rule 11 of National Biosafety Rules, 2005; and report compliance within seven days.

The complaint was filed against the Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation-Customs, Karachi, in terms of Section 10 1) of the Federal Tax Ombudsman Ordinance, 2000, for the release of stuck-up consignments of imported Soybean at Port M Bin Qasim, Karachi.

The FTO officials regretted that the Directorate of I&I Customs, Karachi, after passing on the information, unnecessarily issued directions to he DG DPP, not to issue release order, etc., thereby, imposing an indirect hold through the Department of Plant Protection (DPP).

The FTO officials further informed that it is quite evident that nine imported consignments of soybean seeds, have got stuck-up at Port M Bin Qasim, Karachi, due to sudden intervention of the Directorate of I&I-Customs, Karachi, on the apprehensions that the imported consignments may be of GMO nature and in such an eventuality, the importers are required to obtain a license under Rule 11 of the National Biosafety Rules, 2005, from the EPA, Ministry of Climate Change, while the DPP is empowered to issue release certificate to the imported soybean seeds consignments even if these are GMO, provided importer has a valid license.

In the subject matter the DPP, Karachi, has been issuing import authorisation to all such import consignments of soybean seeds since 2015 and the importers accordingly opened LCs and affected the import of soybean seeds for crushing and for use of its residue for making poultry meals.

The DPP ignoring the agreed minutes between APHIS, USA and DPP, Pakistan and in negation of the Cartagena Protocol. Article 7, para 2, did not issue the required release order for these consignments, thus leading to an imminent issue of food insecurity and price hike of eggs and poultry products. This will also deprive the poor people of Pakistan from the cheapest source of protein due to the non-availability of soybean meal for the poultry industry of Pakistan. This situation needs to be immediately resolved inter alia to save the much precious foreign exchange paid by Pakistani importers to the tune of millions of US$ as 110million has already been remitted while the remainder of US$ 335 million is committed through established letters of credit (LCs), in addition to the cost of cargo, the delay is costing the importers around US$ 40,000 per day per vessel, which totals to amount US$ 360,000 per day in vessel demurrage, to avoid poultry products shortage and to avoid an apparent immense escalation of eggs and poultry products prices which are used by the people of Pakistan as an economical but good quality protein source in their diet, the FTO officials added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

Comments

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Ch K A Nye Dec 10, 2022 11:28am
At least someone sees sense. Unlike the minister and other overzealous bureaucrats who can't see beyond their noses.
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Tariq Dec 10, 2022 06:29pm
Now thousand of people will be killed with cancer. Boycott poultry. what government is doing to people. Shame on government.
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Tariq Dec 10, 2022 06:31pm
@Ch K A Nye , please dont spread cancer
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Gnay.Aly Dec 11, 2022 03:26am
FTO ALSO TAKE SUO MOTO OF OTHER IMPORTED BY PAKISTANI IMPORTERS & HAD REACHED AT KARACHI PORT TRUST BUT BANKS ARE NOT RELEASING ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS ALONG WITH BILL OF LADING & AROUND US$ 1-3 BILLIONS GOODS STUCK UP AT PORT AND IMPORTERS ARE PAYING DEMURRAGE IN MILLIONS OF US $ DAILY
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Bilal Dec 12, 2022 10:45am
@Tariq , was there any report available from any Govt Dept / Plant Protection Dept on these seeds that those will cause cancer ? Unless proven, it was just rumour of GMO soyabean.
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