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Misuse of green channel: Used solar panels being cleared through IDP as new panels

Misuse of green channel: Used solar panels being cleared through IDP as new panels

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Dry Port is misusing green channel for clearing used solar panels as new panels, which can be health hazardous and must be cleared after physically checking through red channel.

Sources in Customs Department said that green channel is mostly used for those items that proved trust worthy and have ‘good repute’.

Sources added that under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) due to acute shortage of the electricity in the country, new solar panels can be entertained under tax exemption facility but not recommended to be cleared through green channel without proper checking.

Telling the details the sources said that according to customs tariff 8541400, solar panels are continuously being cleared in sealed packing without properly examination. They added that the customs officials who conducted the audit of cleared consignments have complained many times to higher customs authorities that used solar panels are being cleared as new solar panels but they turned a deaf ear to the issue.

The sources said that without physical examination, no one can judge that what is packed in sealed cartons. It was notified that all the consignments loaded with the solar panels must be checked physically via red channel.

The sources added that Member Inland Revenue (Policy) and Spokesperson for Federal Board of Revenue Dr Muhammad Iqbal has already said that if any officers and staff members of customs service are found involved in misuse of green channel facility, the FBR will take stern action against them. He added that FBR ordered Secretary Enforcement to investigate the matter and use all available resources to curb the misuse of green channel.

Dr Iqbal said that the FBR has submitted a detailed report in Supreme Court regarding the use of facility of green channel. “We are closely monitoring this matter.”

Member Customs Zahid Khokhar has been assigned a special task to check that how this facility is being misused and give recommendations how FBR can effectively control green channel facility to avoid its misuse, he added.