KARACHI: The Commission on ‘smuggling of arms and ammunition’ has advised to enhance powers and functions of the Directorate General of Transit Trade (DGTT) of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to check missing of transit consignments destined for Afghanistan.
Sources said that former FBR Member Customs Ramzan Bhatti has chalked out a comprehensive strategy to improve functions of the Directorate General of Transit Trade in his one-member commission report on ‘smuggling of arms and ammunition’.
According to sources, the Directorate General of Transit Trade should be made comprehensively functional and all wherewithal including human resources shall be provided for improving the efficiency of the Directorate General in ensuring the safest and quickest transit of imported goods to Afghanistan.
The Director General, Directorate General of Transit Trade (DGTT), Custom House, Karachi vide his written statement has informed the Commission that along with DGTT, some related functions such as licensing of Bonded Carriers / Transport Operators, sealing, de-sealing, allow-loading and gate-out operations at Karachi Port and en-route tracking and monitoring of the transit trade containers are being performed by other organisations including Preventive Collectorate and Appraisement Collectorate.
The procedure is prescribed under SRO 601(I)/2011 dated 13.06.2011. At present, the financial and physical transaction is mostly carried out by the Border Agents at Chaman and Torkham. The financial transaction is through Hawala or telegraphic transfer (TT). Whereas, due to absence of EDI the actual consignee cannot be identified. The scanned image at Karachi cannot be reconciled, due to absence of similar facility at Torkham / Chaman.
Lastly, some faults with the tracking devices have also been identified. However, the aforementioned issues have been taken up with the Afghan Government for setting up an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) with FBR for scanning facilities at Pak-Afghan Border. The attested copy of Jawaznama issued by Government of Afghanistan is the basic document upon which transit of goods is allowed by the Pakistan Customs.
Sources said that the Directorate General of Customs (Transit) has not been made fully functional as certain processes pertaining to transit were still being performed by other Collectorates. There is a dire need of installations of scanners at Torkham and Peshawar for the benefit of mirroring of scanned images at Karachi Port and Border stations besides reconciliation of data at two ends, sources added.