Following are few suggestions to boost Customs revenue:
1). Laboratory Test Reports of the goods may be provided on the system to the Traders/Agents like examination reports.
2). The commercial importers of plant and machinery have to submit a pay-order or bank guarantee equivalent to the amount of Sales Tax payable at import stage, and the registered manufacturer or industrial importers have to submit a post dated cheque equal to the amount of Sales Tax for availing exemption of Sales Tax under SRO 727(I) 2011. On Submission of Sales Tax Return’s Acknowledgement to the Collector of Customs, after the import of machinery, the pay order or the post dated cheque is to be returned to the importers duly cancelled by the Customs. It should be automatic when all documents are correct and complete and submitted online. The securities may be dispatched to importers by courier service. This will save time of the Customs Officers as well as of the importers.
3). To get the benefits of SRO 565(I) 2006, the importer cum manufacturer has to submit a post dated cheque for the differential amount of statutory duty and concessionary duty for release of the goods. The importer cum-manufacturer has to inform the collector concerned of customs within sixty days of the consumption of goods. On receipt of information AC/DC should give approval for release of securities automatically. The securities may be dispatched directly to the importer cum manufacturer by courier. This will also save time of the Customs Officers as well as of the importers.
4). Online collection of Customs duties
National Bank of Pakistan has started branchless banking for pensions, salaries and income tax. Online collection of Customs duties and taxes should also be introduced for collection of Customs duties and taxes.
5). Saturdays as working day.
On the pretext of conserving power, the government is observing two days weekly holidays, i.e. Saturday and Sunday. This has caused adverse effects on our economy. Customs Departments and Banks are closed on these two days. Middle Eastern countries and Bangladesh are closed on Friday. Collection of Revenue as well as exports suffers due to two days closures. There has been no relief in load-shedding due to two days off.
It is suggested that Saturdays to be a working day for Customs & other Revenue Departments and Banks to observe half working day on Saturday. This will enable Pakistan economy to get rid of IMF shackles.
M S Lodhia