Collectorate launches several initiatives such as green Customs House projects in near future: Collector Zulfiqar Younis
LAHORE: The Collectorate of Customs Preventive achieved many millstones including launching of anti-smuggling operations software applications’ and establishment of control room in digitalizing the customs operation besides far reaching measures of welfare and motivational significance of the staff have also been taken to improve the performance of the department.
This was the crux of the briefing by Customs Collector (Preventive) Zulfiqar Younis to Customs and Tax Reporters Association Lahore (CTRA) in a capacity-building workshop here at Customs House.
The collector added that Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) in collaboration with Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) developed the unique software that was incorporated in the Collectorate operational system but on test basis, to control smuggling and related activities speedily and effectively.
To a question, Zulfiqar said that field Customs officials checking and detecting smuggling were also given fiscal incentives as per FBR rules and in accordance their grade and salary on detection of any major smuggling consignment. He added that the proportion incentive might be one-third of the revenue of the detected goods or two years basis salary of the respective officer, whichever was less.
Regarding behavioral change in the Customs officials performing duties at public places especially airports and ports, he said that Model Customs Collectorate hired services of Prof. Syed Qasim Shah, who is holding sessions for bringing a positive change in the officials’ behavior, while a retired senior officer of Customs Preventive Muhammad Shehbaz focusing on professional capacity building of the officials.
Collector Preventive said that it had also been decided to change the staffers at airports after every four months to avoid monotony and give relaxation time to officials performing hectic duty of public dealing. This would also improve the overall working and operation of the Customs, he maintained.
To another question, Zulfiqar Younis said that he had have successful meeting with officers of Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory, who offered to conduct forensic test of the mobile-phone data of smugglers. “Of course, we will send the smugglers’ cellular phones to the forensic laboratory for a detailed analysis their data,” he responded to a reporters query.
Zulfiqar Younis also mentioned that Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), Pakistan Railways Police and Customs officials were jointly checking the trains bound for India to detect smuggling.
The collectorate is in the process of undertaking several initiative in the near future such as the green Customs House Projects which includes shifting the customs House to solar energy, beautification of the Customs House, enhanced security and installation of elevators in the house, the collector added.
On this occasion, CTRA President Rizwaz Naqvi, General Secretary Malik Azam, Finance Secretary Jahangir Hayat, senior journalist Mazhar Iqbal, Muhammad Luqman, Saeed Baloch and other reporters were also present.