- To avert a serious crisis of the poultry industry, FTO says to immediately release nine stuck-up consignments at Port Qasim
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.
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