PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Customs is in hot water for detection of leakages to the national exchequer by large importers and exporters through trade via various routes on the borders lines.
For better surveillance of trading courtiers, it’s important to share big data information for effective facilitation of the trade activities between Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and Iran. On the other side, implementation of standard mechanism is also needed for establishment of digital system for carrying out credit transfer and checking of goods declaration papers.
Mohammad Saeed Jadoon, Acting Director Trade and Transit Routes and Collector Customs at the Model Customs Collectorate Peshawar, said this while talking with Customs Today on Tuesday at the Customs House Peshawar.
In order to effectively benefit from the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Pakistan Customs has to be linked with China Customs to curb or minimize the fraud in trade. The same efforts needed to be done for trade with Emirates, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Europe and other countries which pose capacity to give benefit to the national exchequer of Pakistan.
The establishment of Electronic Data Interchange System (EDIS) between the Customs Departments of China and Pakistan had been recently proposed on which work had been started. The deadline of April 30 was set for Pakistan and China to exchange trade data digitally with each other.
The Collector Customs further informed CT that the Gwadar-Chabahar port line distance is equal as compared to the distance of Karachi-Torkham route for imports and exports to Afghanistan. The efficiency of Karachi-Torkham Route for Trade with Afghanistan will not be affected after the full operation of the Gwadar Port starts.The Collector Customs said with great concern that there is a great need to beat the menace of smuggling as estimated loss due to false invoices has crossed Rs300billion limit on imports only from China.
A study published in 2017 by the Lahore Journal of Economics estimated more than $92.7billion losses from 1972 to 2013 for 52 major business commodities for trade with 21 partners due to mis-invoicing and fake declaration, said Collector Customs. These leakages caused the national exchequer a loss of $21.1billion and a loss in the form of custom duties evasion and export withholding tax stood at $11billion. The annual average net revenue loss due to it was roughly equal to 11.2 percent of revenue from tariffs.
The Customs Department hopes that the EDIS would be implemented this time and not left to dwindle away in talks. The Customs Department also hopes that this is seen as a step in the right direction, the first of many, which needs to be taken to address the chronic problems of trade figures, the collector added.