KARACHI: A number of importers have reportedly been de-listed from ”Green Channel” facility by the Federal Board of Revenue’s Directorate Reforms and Automation (DR&A).
Sources said that the de-listed importers have been barred from clearing their consignments through examination. The importers have approached the Directorate through written letters and sought the reason of their abrupt de-listing from Green Channel. They claimed that the de-listing is creating difficulties in the clearance of consignments which has also put excessive financial burden in terms of demurrage charges.
They said that they were importing specific goods from China and availing Green Channel facility on the basis of better profile for years but the Directorate had de-listed them from Green Channel with no reason, raising disenchantment among the importers.
Importers have requested the Directorate to intimate the reason for de-listing the importers from Green Channel but the department has not yet given any satisfactory reply.
It is important to mention here that Customs Today has been reporting on abuse of green channel since past many years. Mega brands like Mobilink and QMobile were reported to be grossly abusing Green Channel facility with connivance of Customs staff. Customs Today exposed mega smuggling scam of Digicom Company (Q-Mobile) as the company cleared more than 750 containers through green channel. In another case, the company did not pay Sales Tax of Rs 772 million on import of total 2,410,560 mobiles.
On 2nd February 2018, Customs Today exposed a smuggling bid of 15,520 liters of dual use precursor acetic anhydride worth around $1.5 million at Port Qasim. The acetic anhydride is a main ingredient for preparing narcotics substance as well as making highly dangerous explosives by the terrorist outfits. Then, Customs Today published several reports about betel nuts smuggling worth billions of rupees through ports at Port Qasim and Appraisement East Collectorate.
These reports led to multiple raids, tens of FIRs and recoveries of illegally cleared goods worth billions of rupees. In fact, in a single raid at a SITE area godown, 600,000 kgs of betel nuts worth Rs 1.5 billion were seized. Notwithstanding, these actions were only as token in nature and is a drop in the ocean whereas much more needs to be done. Customs Today also published investigative reports about changing of strategies by green channel smugglers as they started clearing illegal goods through yellow channel & TP.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan also took notice of the green channel illegal clearances and the court associate sent a copy to the NAB chief for necessary action.