KARACHI: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has urged Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and other law enforcement agencies to take measures to curtail smuggling of goods through the Afghan and Iran borders.
The FPCCI, in a statement, requested FBR and other law-enforcement agencies to take appropriate fiscal and administrative measures, including sealing of borders, to curtail the smuggling of incoming and outgoing goods from Afghanistan-Iran-Pakistan borders, encourage legal imports and local production, safeguard the interests of indigenous industry, ensure availability of raw material to the industry and reduce shortage of food items in the country.
Saquib Fayyaz Magoon, chairman of FPCCI Standing Committee on Anti-Smuggling, appreciated the remarks of the Supreme Court regarding rampant smuggling of arms and ammunition into the country.
Magoon disclosed that the smuggling of sensitive items, i.e., arms, ammunitions, drugs, etc., takes place under the guise of general/commercial items, which causes revenue loss and is a threat to national security. He also endorsed the Supreme Court’s remarks that smuggled diesel and petrol from Iran is being sold in various parts of the country.
The chairman of the standing committee said that FBR has been facing a serious shortfall in the collection of customs duty mainly due to wrong policies and measures that were introduced in the recent budget by FBR. Genuine businessmen’s cost of doing business has increased due to increase in the rate of sales tax and cumbersome and complicated income tax and sales tax laws, he added. “The high tax rates and duties provide an incentive to tax evasion and under invoicing,” he said.
Abdul Waheed Shah, senior vice chairman of the standing committee, lamented the outgoing smuggling of livestock from Pakistan to Afghanistan. Shah said that it is not only causing shortages of meat and milk but also of hides and skins – basic raw materials for the production of high value-added leather and leather goods, which are the main sources of earning foreign exchange for the country.