ISLAMABAD: The Chief Collector of Customs (Enforcement), Karachi on Friday informed that the enforcement and anti-smuggling activities in Karachi has resulted in massive detections of Rs 10 billion during the first six months (July-December) 2022-23 against Rs 2.5 billion in the same period of 2021-22, reflecting an increase of Rs 7.5 billion.

A meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue was held in Karachi in the Customs House and Karachi Port Trust under the Chairpersonship of Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, MNA.

Briefing the National Assembly Standing on Finance on Friday, Chief Collector of Customs (Enforcement) Karachi stated that the value of the detections of smuggled, non-duty paid or under-valued goods amounted to Rs 10 billion during the first half of the current fiscal year.

On the other hand, the value of detections remained Rs 2.5 billion in the July-December period of 2021-22. The amount of detections has been very high due to the effective enforcement actions during the said period.

The Chief Collector of Customs Appraisement (South) Karachi briefed the committee that the Chief Collector Office has launched the “Automated Complaint Management System” to immediately address the complaints of the importers and exporters. The “Automated Complaint Management System” would be monitored by the Chief Collector as well as Collector.

Through the new system, the importers can make direct complaint to the Collector and Chief Collector without going to their office or documentation etc. The complaints of the importers will be immediately available in the personal inbox of the Chief Collector of Customs for redrassal of complaints.

After live demonstration of “Automated Complaint Management System” and new system to checkunder-invoicing, the Committee highly appreciated the efforts of the Customs department.

Qaiser Sheikh, Chairman of the committee said that Customs department has improved its performance due to automation and reforms and there are very less complaints against the Customs department due to speedy processing and clearance of imported consignments.

The committee was briefed by officials of Revenue division about efforts to enhance revenue collection and various issues pertaining to it. There has been a fall this year in growth of custom duty and sales tax collection. The committee inquired about issues in application of super tax and removal of duties on some luxury electric vehicles.

The committee was also informed about a new module being introduced to give fair assessment value to different items. This module was prepared by looking at different international best practices and consulting various international journals.

The committee was also briefed about efforts of Enforcement (South) Customs to decrease smuggling. The committee appreciated the efforts of Pakistan Customs in improving its performance through various initiatives but also directed them to improve their appraisement and clearance time.

The committee further visited Karachi Port Trust to look into clearance mechanism of port and discuss various issues faced by businesses. The committee was informed that discussions are on going with Korea to construct a dedicated elevated expressway from KPT for easing of traffic and efficient operations.

The committee decided to call a joint meeting of the committees of Maritime Affairs and Finance & Revenue to find solutions for problems faced by both organisations. The meeting was attended by Members of National Assembly; Nafisa Shah, Ali Pervaiz, Sami Hassan Gillani and Wajiha Qamar. The meeting was also attended by senior officers of both organisations.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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