KARACHI: Nasir Masroor Ahmed, Chief Collector of Customs Appraisement (South), Karachi has asked the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to come forward and collectively devise a mechanism for valuation rulings.
Talking to KCCI Office Bearers during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Wednesday, he added, “We are ready to sit with you and hold negotiations on valuations rulings as any feasible mechanism suggested by KCCI would surely give relief to traders and customs authorities.”
Vice Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI, Anjum Nisar, President KCCI, Abdullah Zaki, Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Idrees, Former President KCCI, A. Q. Khalil and KCCI Managing Committee members represented the Chamber at the meeting whereas Customs Karachi was represented by Chief Collector of Customs Appraisement-South Karachi, Nasir Masroor Ahmed, Collector Model Customs Collectorate of Appraisement-West Karachi, Muhammad Saleem, Collector Model Customs Collectorate of Appraisement-East Karachi, Najeeb ur Rehman Abbasi, Collector Model Collectorate of Customs Port Qasim Karachi Surriya Ahmed Butt and Additional Collector Model Collectorate Customs Port Qasim Karachi, Irfan Javed.
Nasir Ahmed pointed out that Customs, on one hand, has to play the role to ensure compliance of law and on the other, it has to facilitate the traders as well. “We are trying our best to create a balance between both and striving to resolve problems being faced by traders as early as possible by taking quick decisions”, he assured.
Terming under-invoicing as the ‘bone of contention’, Masroor Ahmed said that under-invoicing is one of the most serious issues being faced by Customs authorities as hardly any invoice carries authentic values which create immense problems for custom authorities and also for concerned traders.
Referring to President KCCI’s demand of having uniform valuation rulings, he said, “We agree, in principle, that valuation rulings should be uniform across Pakistan as it would help in dealing with many issues emerging due to varying valuation rulings in various cities of the country.”
Earlier, while welcoming the Chief Collector of Customs, President KCCI Abdullah Zaki appreciated the response and support being extended by Nasir Masroor Ahmed in timely resolving numerous issues pertaining to trade and industry.
President KCCI, while expressing concern over higher valuation being imposed by Customs authorities on Karachi based importers only, said that it results in shifting the imports to other illegal sources and promotes smuggling through Afghan Transit Trade and misdeclaration which was the major reason for descending revenue collection of customs authorities.
Highlighting the deficiencies of Customs department, he said that no adequate lab equipment for testing various consignments was available at the Collectorates while the Principal Appraisers in WEBOC system are not timely reviewing the situation which causes huge backlog. Issuance of unnecessary contravention reports by the R&D Department of same consignments imported earlier also creates problems for the concerned businessmen, he added.
He also urged Customs authorities to consult with Karachi chamber before finalizing any policy related to Valuation Rulings whereas representatives of Karachi Chamber must also be present at the meetings and Customs officials should carry out market enquiry along with stakeholders.
He also stressed the need for collective efforts to facilitate the business community and a clear Market Mechanism should be devised to prevent those illegal malpractices which directly affect business-friendly environment. He hoped that the Customs Department will take necessary remedial measures on a war-footing basis to pull the business & Industrial Community out of present crisis.