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Advanced weapons, vehicles essential to eradicate smuggling: Collector Imtiaz

Advanced weapons, vehicles essential to eradicate smuggling: Collector Imtiaz

ISLAMABAD: Modal Customs Collectorate, Islamabad Collector Imtiaz Ahmed Warraich expressed the hope that the department would achieve revenue target set by the federal government for fiscal year 2013-14.

In an exclusive interview with Customs Today, he said that out of this year’s total target of Rs10,100 million, the department would collect Rs3,825 million as customs duty, Rs3,570 million as sales tax, Rs368 million as federal excise duty and Rs2,310 million as withholding tax.

Collector Imtiaz Ahmed asserted that the Collectorate has always attained its targets, adding, “We are working hard to collect revenue and very close to achieve this year’s target too.”

Describing the main problems faced by the Collectorate, he said that no new recruitment has been made for the last 15 years and the department’s most of the field staff is above 50 years of age.

“This is a very important department and all the staff should be well-equipped and trained as per the latest rules and ways of working being practised at the world level, but unfortunately no step has been taken by the authorities concerned in this regard,” he added.

The Collector suggested that the government should provide the department with advanced weapons, new vehicles and training as the criminals, the staff has to face, are equipped with sophisticated weapons and vehicles.

Highlighting the performance, he said that during last 2-3 weeks, Islamabad Model Customs Collectorate seized 200,000 yards cloths, being smuggled from Peshawar to Lahore through motorway. He said that during the last two months, the MCC recovered about 23kg of non-customs paid gold which was being transferred from Dubai to Pakistan.

He maintained that in another case, the Collectorate took into custody Rs170 million currency which was being transferred abroad illegally through hundi. In another case, he said, the department seized a huge quantity of liquor stolen from the containers of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Imtiaz Ahmed said that the MCC also seized expensive watches worth Rs10 million. He pointed out that though there is no customs duty on export but the seizure revealed that the watches were imported illegally, adding, “Now the department is investigating that where from these expensive watches were imported.”

Collector Imtiaz elaborated that the basic duties of Collectorate are to enforce customs laws, collect revenue and facilitate international trade.

While to talking to Customs Today, Deputy Collector Asif Hargan said that the Model Customs Collectorate has its own line of action and the all officials are working very hard to achieve their targets.

He said, “We have two main offices where our field officers perform their duties apart from headquarters of Customs Collectorate and they are located at Islamabad Dry Port and Airfreight Unit.”

To a query, he said that whenever a corruption case is discovered, the accused is punished and everybody whether he is an MCC official, customs agent or importer, all are equal before the law.