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ATT scam: Burney terms allegations against Customs agents ‘baseless

ATT scam: Burney terms allegations against Customs agents ‘baseless

KARACHI: The issuance of over 1,100 Order-in Original (ONOs) by Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) Port Qasim against the Customs agents in Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) scam are baseless and the scam should be resolved on merit.

This was stated by All Pakistan Customs Agents Association (APCAA) Chairman Syed Shams Burney during an exclusive interview with Customs Today.

Burney demanded of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Pakistan Customs to implement the verdict of Supreme Court of Pakistan in which the apex court ordered the authorities to conduct an impartial probe into the ATT scam by National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

In reply to a query, APCAA Chairman Burney informed this scribe that a committee comprising Muhammad Saleem, Collector of Customs, Appraisement (West), Abdul Rasheed Sheikh, Collector of Customs, Appraisement (East), SM Tariq Huda, Collector of Customs (Preventive), Jawwad Owais Agha, Collector of Customs, Port Qasim, following the directives of FBR, had held a meeting with a joint delegation of KCAA and APCAA and assured the Customs agents that the fate of show-cause notices in ATT scam on merit.

“Customs agents are facing multiple problems including ATT scam, division of PaCCs Collectorate and collapse of WeBOC system”, he said, adding that the partition of PaCCs Collectorate would open the doors to corruption  as the importers and agents will have to deal with several Customs officials.

“The creation of more Collectorates is an attempt by the bureaucracy to recruit more officials on upper grades in the Customs Department”, Burney added. He urged the Federal Finance Minister, FBR chief and Member Customs to take notice of the illogical division of PaCCs Collectorate.

Commenting on the performance of WeBOC, Syed Shams Burney said that no automation exists in it (WeBOC), adding that the “Care”, (PaCCs) System was much better than WeBOC in compatibility, efficiency and advancement.

The APCAA chairman further said that the Customs agents were playing a vital role in revenue generation and their grievances should be redressed as per law.

Burney, while commenting on the TPL Tracker Company, said that the company was damaging the national exchequer and the FBR should review the contract with the firm, as it was causing the loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer.