ISLAMABAD: In order to introduce a uniform evaluation system for clearance of goods at all entry and exit points of the country, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to replicate the online computerized system known as Web-Based One Customs (WeBOC) with improved modules.
This system will be in place within the next few months as work is underway on an urgent basis in this regard, said a senior official of FBR.
Tax authorities are facing the gigantic task of meeting the highly challenging revenue target of Rs2475 billion in the current fiscal year. The incumbent administration believes that without improving administration and simplifying procedures the desired tax target cannot be achieved.
“For improving collection at import stage in the shape of customs duty, sales tax and withholding tax, FBR wants to put in place a unified evaluation system to plug leakages as there were complaints that different duties were charged at different destinations,” a senior official of FBR said.
When contacted, Member Customs Nisar Muhammad Khan said that FBR was working to improve modules of WeBOC which would be replicated at all points, including dry ports and sea ports, to ensure a unified system for clearance of goods. “We will replicate this system at all points within the next three months,” he added.
Member Customs said that FBR had set up this system but there were certain stumbling blocks to working the system at all points. Now, FBR is improving modules of WeBOC which will be put up at all desired places within the next few months, he concluded. In this context, the provisions of Chapter XVI-A of Customs Act, 1969 will be applied to all the notified customs stations throughout Pakistan.
The WeBOC system, developed by FBR’s subsidiary Pakistan Revenue Authority Limited (PRAL) is aimed at clearing the goods using online facilities by minimizing human interaction.
Earlier, FBR had used Pakistan Automated Computerized Customs System (PaCCS) which led to a conflict with the originator of the company named Agility. After this controversy, FBR took the decision to develop its own system called WeBOC.
In September 2012, FBR had made it mandatory for all export goods declarations at Karachi International Terminal (KICT) and Pakistan International Terminal (PICT) to be processed through WeBOC.
FBR, the sources said, is all set to conduct audit of WeBOC in the near future in order to examine its strengths and weaknesses.
It is relevant to mention here that all systems developed by PRAL have failed to deliver the desired results in most of the cases. FBR, the sources said, is going to hire a firm for conducting an audit of WeBOC system and its effectiveness.
FBR has also organized workshops to spread information about the usage of the paperless system by the clients keeping in view the vertical and horizontal rollout of the indigenously developed Customs Computerized Clearance System WeBOC. During these workshops, tutorials not only covered modules for bonded carriers and warehousing where external users of the system were invited for training, but they also included programmes for the rollout of the system to other Collectorates, where the Computerized System was not yet operational.
Steps were also taken to explain the role of DCs (MIS) in the rollout of the system at those Collectorates where this paperless system is yet to be made operational. In such a scenario, the Deputy Collectors (MIS) concerned should send the hard copies and other requirements of the Collectorates on urgent basis to the Project Team of WeBOC as the Computerized System will soon be applied in the remaining Collectorates of the country.