High-ups should take notice of the violation de-motivating business activities in country: LCCI VP Kh Khawer Rasheed
LAHORE: The Customs Intelligence and Investigation and Anti-Smuggling Organization field staff are violating sections 32 and 25 of the Customs Act 1969 that bars anyone from reassessing and re-evaluating the goods once cleared by the customs authorities at Karachi and Bin Qasim ports.
These views were expressed by Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed while talking to Customs Today here the other day.
The activity is damaging business activities, across the country, especially in Punjab, he said, adding that it is illegal and unlawful to break seals of the containers locked by the ports authorities.
He said that Customs Intelligence officials, who are deployed to check smuggling, often stop the containers cleared by the port authorities. He said that the Customs I&I DG Shaukat should take the notice of the violation by his staff for minting money.
“This is an unhealthy trend which is inflicting huge losses to the national economy and demoralising the legal importers,” he said, adding that it is said that Customs I&I illegally stop the customs cleared containers on their way to their final destinations. “If the importers fail to grease their palms, they are threatened to be involved in fake cases,” he said.
“The Customs Intelligence and Investigation, Customs directorates, Collectorates, and all other field formations, who are active in Sukkar and Multan areas, have no authority to harass importers by unlawfully stopping and opening of the seals of the customs cleared containers on their way to their destinations all across the country, ” he said.
The LCCI SVP said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should take strict notice against the customs officials who are involved in the illegal and unlawful practices, adding that the Customs Intelligence, Collectorates and all other filed formations should not stop the containers cleared by the Karachi and other ports unless they have been provided with specified information about the transportation of smuggled goods and articles.
The Customs Intelligence and Collectorates of the Anti-Smuggling Organizations drive the containers to their Collectoerates despite the fact they never had any laboratory or any other yard-sticks to check the goods on scientific lines except at the Karachi Port and Port Bin Qasim, Rasheed pointed out. He urged the top authorities of customs to take the notice of the violation de-motivating business activities in the country.
If the top authorities fail to address the issue of violation of sections 25 and 32 of the Customs Act the business community would take its own decision and may take to the streets.