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Quarterly Conference of Collectors of Custom was held here today under the chairmanship of the Secretary General, Revenue Division/Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue, Mr. M. Abdullah Yusuf.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman stressed upon the collectors to make concerted efforts to enable the FBR to deliver to the economic and material development needs of the country. He said, the Customs officials can strengthen themselves by strengthening and updating the systems and procedures. We must rely on automated systems & procedures instead of manual ones to achieve the desired results, he added.
Underlining the need of bringing improvement in revenue collection, the Chairman directed the collectors to effectively check under-invoicing/ valuation and mis-declaration of goods, to plugging possible avenues of revenue leakages, quick recovery of out-standing arrears and constant monitoring of exemptions regime. He also asked the collectors to send monthly report on recovery of arrears.
Earlier, the Secretary (Customs Budget), Mr. Muhammad Saleem, highlighting the over-all performance of the customs collectorates, informed the Conference that the total customs duty collection for the month of January, 2008 stood at Rs. 12.4 billion as against Rs. 9.6 billion collected in January, 2007, thus registering a growth of 29.1%. Target of customs duty collection for January, 2008 was Rs. 10.1 billion. Duty collection in first six months (July-December) of current financial year was Rs. 61.6 billion as compared to Rs. 60.7 billion collected in the same period of 2006-07.
Major revenue spinners were edible oil, electrical machinery, plastic & articles, paper and paper board, articles of irons & steel, soap & detergents etc.
Regarding improvisation of One-customs system, M/S Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) has been asked to improvise the One-customs software which may include, among other solutions, assigning of separate destination codes for NLC Dry Port Amangarh, Railways Dry Ports at Peshawar Cantt. & city, Torkhum & Chaman etc. with an inbuilt validation and verification system.
Conference was informed that M/S PRAL’s existing Transshipment Permit (TP) Monitoring Module was being improvised. It was further decided to establish dedicated TP/AP section at Appraisement, Prot Qasim collectorates in Karachi and at Chaman collectorate (Quetta) for daily manifest clearance of each border carrier. Similar arrangement was proposed for Lahore & Quetta collectorates.
It was further told that the Preventive Collectorate, Karachi was developing a procedure in consultation with PIA authorities, for TPs moved through PIA. Once
notified, the system will be replicated at other Freight Units. In addition to this, Appraisement and Port Qasim collectorates were developing procedure for acknowledgment of TPs filed by clearing agents for ships spare-parts. The Conference was assured that both of these systems would be put in place in next 15 days.
About inter-port movement of cargo to and form off-dock terminals viz: NLC, AICT, Pak Shaheen, BOML and QFS to the Port of Karachi and Port Qasim, conference was apprised that terminal operators were being actively pursued to ensure the movement of their cargo through bonded carriers. To facilitate the trade, short period extensions were being granted by the Collectors/Chief Collector (South) to avoid clogging of cargo at port and terminals.
Mr. Abdullah Yusuf, however, advised the collectors that at any point of time the relevant collector must know that what (goods) was in the transit concerning his collectorate. He said, the system was supposed to put time-line for a consignment and if a consignment was not reached at any particular destination within the time-limit, there should be a flash on the system indicating its non-arrival.