PESHAWAR: Advocate Jaffar Ali Qazi said the issue of good governance has again surfaces in the customs department of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) as the high ups are protecting the ‘corrupt’ officials.
While talking TO Customs Today on Monday at Peshawar, he said corruption in customs seriously hinders the flow of domestic and international business, adding that corruption of Principal Appraiser Dost Muhammad, who is currently performing his duties at Customs Appraisement East, R&D section Karachi, must be properly investigated in order to satisfy the business community.
Advocate Qazi further said that it has a negative effect on the departmental ability and reputation and it not only undermines the legitimacy of the customs administration, but also seriously affects the economy of the country by creating a noncompetitive business climate.
Advocate suggested that there are a number of agencies outside the executive that need to be rallied to dent corruption in customs.
Advocate Qazi said the legislature, the judiciary, anti-corruption institutions, national security agencies, stakeholders such as the Chambers of Commerce and Industry, lawyers associations and brokers’ associations, civil society organizations engaged in fighting corruption, the media and the international community are also working to build pressure against corrupt practices but further steps are needed to be taken.
He said Customs Department must develop strategic alliances with many of these players to stop corrupt customs officials like Dost Mohammad.
Jaffar Qazi further said that immediate steps must be taken to tackle corruption in customs department as it works as key agency to collect duty and generate revenue for the country.
Frequent changes encourage corruption. Officers while knowing that their tenure would be short and uncertain, each successive head of Customs focuses on short-term results.
This encourages short circuiting of established norms and procedures and relying on corrupt individuals to achieve management objectives, he added.
He said other reason such as long-term institutional development, which is essential to maintenance of high standards of integrity, receives little attention and the officers do serious level of corruption.
The situation is worsened if top management is not only shortsighted, but also corrupt. In that case, the short-term horizon translates into making as much money as possible in the available time, he added.
When management is corrupt, employees follow suit. Departmental anti-corruption mechanism has broken down which also needed to be reshaped and formulated in order to stop ways of corruption by customs officials in customs department, he concluded.