ISLAMABAD: The customs duty collection in FY2018-19, stood at around Rs680 billion as against Rs606 billion in 2017-18, registering growth of above 12 percent.
The CD target, out of total initial FBR target of Rs4,435 billion, was Rs735 billion. However, Customs collected 46 percent of FBR’s total revenue whereas in 2017-18 this ratio was 44 percent. This confirms the fact that despite enormous compression in imports, customs’ achievements proved better due to focused diligence resulting in improved effective rate on dutiable imports.
Though customs duty collection has witnessed more than 20 percent growth in last five years, this year the growth was a little above 12 percent. Deliberate fiscal policy to compress imports has been cited as the major reason for this reduced growth. Import Compression measures taken by the federal government, during FY 2018-19, have improved current account deficit issue, but have impacted revenue collection, especially customs duty collection at import stage.
For example, in US dollar terms, total imports declined by almost 11 percent, whereas the impact was more severe in case of dutiable imports, for which decline in imports for the outgoing fiscal year was more than 20 percent in real (US dollar) terms. This factor alone ate up, expected positive revenue impact of currency devaluation. This trend of declining imports is synonymous with decline in import quantity, computed in terms of TEUs, which reduced by 10 percent in the entire financial year.
Above figures for the month of June 2019 are more significant as dutiable imports dropped by 35 percent and TEUs by 18 percent compared to June 2018. Further, loss of CD, on account of non-tariff/tariff measures on specific items like vehicles, furnace oil, betel nuts, other edibles etc, has been estimated to be around Rs45-50 billion.
Also, enforcement efforts by Customs were greatly focused and brought in dividends of Rs485 million in currency seizures in FY 2018-19 compared to Rs157 million in FY 2017-18, which was massive increase of 208 percent. Total anti-smuggling seizures stood at Rs31.7 billion as against Rs25.3 billion in FY 2017-18, with increase of above 22.5 percent.
Values of seizures witnessed sharp rise for vehicles (114 percent), electronic goods (43 percent), diesel (55 percent), Gutka (150 percent) and food grains (200 percent).