Lahore, January 02, 2017 (PPI-OT): A “Connectivity Bus” has been developed and would be launched soon to exchange trade data between Pakistan and China. This system would play a vital role in controlling the issue of under invoicing.
This was stated by the Chief Collector Customs, Karachi Zahid Khokhar while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The LCCI President Abdul Basit, former President Shahid Hassan Sheikh, former Senior Vice President Malik Tahir Javed, former Vice Presidents Aftab Ahmed Vohra, Shafqat Saeed Piracha, Executive Committee Members Moazam Rasheed, Tariq Mahmood and Muhammad Arshad Chaudhry also spoke on the occasion.
Chief Collector Customs said that “Connectivity Buss” is a modern system developed with latest technology that would drastically reduce under invoicing in trade with China. He said that a modern system is also being developed for checking of trading goods. It would reduce human involvement and ensure transparency.
He told the participants that WeBOC is a program of international level and far better than the contrary software. He said that this system has been developed by the local experts and entire world is acknowledging its efficiency. Regarding Electronic I-Form, he said that data has been compiled and brought into this system. He said that work is well on the way to make this system friendly. He said that smuggling has been reduced due to good work of the law enforcement agencies. Stringent measures have also been taken to control illegal trade from Pak-Afghan border.
The LCCI President Abdul Basit said that the business community of Pakistan is striving hard to sustain their businesses through persistent hard work and efforts. The economic policies of the current government are playing a positive role in reviving the economy of the country.
He said that the customs department and the business community have to work closely with each other for carrying out business activity. Being President of the premier chamber of the country with a membership base of above 18,000, I would like to draw your attention to a few issues of core importance.
“The LCCI members should be educated regarding laws, procedures and SOPs followed by Customs through seminars, workshops and hands on trainings. Importers are facing various problems while transporting imported goods from the ports to their warehouses as they are frequently stopped by Custom personnel on various check points during transit. We believe that consignments once cleared by Customs Authorities should not be checked time and again while moving up country”, the LCCI president added.
He said that unnecessary delays in clearance of goods on part of Customs Department should be minimized to save businesses from incurring financial losses. He said that FBR should amend WeBOC, as only a few options are available in the system if any changes / modifications are required to be made. He said that importers are facing various problems on the ports. When goods are cleared under database or after appraisement, post audit recovery notices based on ice gate / guidelines should not be issued.
Abdul Basit said that the government should take steps to control smuggling at the borders. The Frontier Core deployed there should be equipped with state of the art technology equipments and should be made more vigilant. They should be advised and educated to play their role in controlling smuggling by exercising their authority under Customs Act. He strongly proposed an online system between borders which should be an essential pre-requisite for the importing and exporting parties consequently giving them pre arrival information about the trade items. This will pave way and save time.
Former LCCI office-bearers Shahid Hassan Sheikh, Malik Tahir Javed, Aftab Ahmed Vohra and Shafqat Saeed Piracha said that number and ratio of duties and taxes should be reduced to promote the tax culture. They said that Afghan Transit Trade is one of the major sources of smuggling therefore it should be reviewed. They said that there should be a time limit for audit as audit for last 18-20 years is a sheer injustice. They suggested that those items which falls under higher duty should be given green channel facility and should be given exemption from examination.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan