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LAHORE: The federal government has approved release of nine stuck-up consignments of imported soyabean, poultry feed, in next two days.

A restriction on the release of consignments was carried out at Port Qasim, Karachi, by the Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation (I&I) Customs, Karachi, and Department of Plant Protection (DPP), said reliable sources.

The sources said the government agreed to release the consignments after the start of preliminary contemptuous proceedings by the office of the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) against Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). They said a preliminary notice was issued to inquire about communication of the FTO recommendations to the concerned quarters. A copy of the preliminary notice is available with the Business Recorder.

The FTO had taken suo motu notice of the issue on 30th November and decided on 9th December 2022, ordering to issue approval of deliberate release on one time basis as a special case under Rule 20(2) of Biosafety Rules, 2005. Furthermore, the FTO had required from the Director General DPP and Collector Customs Karachi to coordinate with each for immediate release of soyabean consignments after receiving this approval from ministry of climate change.

FTO orders FBR to release soybean consignments

According to the sources, the ministry of food security was exercising delaying tactics in the release of consignments by referring the FTO’s recommendations to the ministry of law for a legal opinion. They said the law ministry advised to release the consignments because the licenses for the import of soyabean could not be reviewed due to the negligence of the government, leading to the violation of processes of both the ministry of climate change and department of plant protection.

It may be noted that the ministry of food security had also reservations about the jurisdiction of FTO. However, the office of FTO made it clear that the FTO had taken up the issues after the blocking of consignments by the Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation (I&I) Customs, Karachi. It has further clarified that the FTO had taken up the issue after finding maladministration on the part of Customs Karachi, which falls in his domain.

The Pakistan Poultry Association had filed a complaint with the FTO against the Directorate of Intelligence & Investigation Customs, Karachi, for release of stuck-up consignments of imported Soyabean at Port Qasim, Karachi.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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