Misuse of green channel: Customs tighten noose around big banner cotton importers

KARACHI: Manzoor Memon, Collector of Model Customs Collectorate (East), Karachi has launched a revenue generation campaign and constituted different post-release verification (PRV) team who has unearthed huge evasion of duty and taxes by big banner textile companies.

According to sources in the Collectorate of Adjudication, Karachi, MCC (East) has so far forwarded Contravention Reports against 27 big importers of raw cotton for recovery of Rs687 million short paid or evaded.

The sources further revealed that these importers have misused SRO 1125(I)/2011 and SRO 212(I)/2013 and evaded legitimate government revenue.

Manzoor Memon has informed the Chief Collector and Member Customs about the drive launched against tax defaulters. Sources stated that Mir Mansoor Ahmed, Principal Appraiser is in-charge of the PRV team who is conducting audit.

Sources stated that these big importers have misused “green channel” of WeBOC for claiming wrong and undue benefits of the concessionary SROs.

Scrutiny of the record is underway and it is expected that more importers will be netted and outstanding government dues recovered after thorough adjudication proceedings. The importers will be given full opportunity to defend their cases in adjudication.

The Green Channel was introduced to facilitate trade and swift clearance and high profile companies meeting the prescribed criteria are eligible to use this facility. But, unfortunately these companies are grossly misusing the facility and causing huge revenue loss to the exchequer.

The imports of past three months are analyzed for the grant of Green Channel facility, but companies avail this facility and later inflict loss to the exchequer.

Sources said that ‘economic terrorism’ was so easy in Pakistan and multi-national companies particularly pharmaceutical companies, were transferring huge sums abroad through grossly over-invoicing their imports, which in fact falls within the ambit of money-laundering. Besides, several huge names including multi-national concerns have been found involved in under-invoicing and mis-declaration of their imports.

It is a misfortune that country’s various trade bodies have been hijacked by unscrupulous elements who are promoting and patronizing duty/tax evasion.

The companies against whom, MCC Appraisement East has forwarded Contravention Reports include M/s. Gul Ahmed Textile Mills Limited, M/s Gadoon Textile Mills Ltd, M/s. Kohinoor Textile Mills Limited, M/s. Quetta Textile Mills Limited, M/s. Indus Dyeing & Mfg. Co. Ltd, M/s. Suraj Cotton Mills Limited, M/s. Dewan Textile Mills Limited, M/s. Sapphire Fibres Limited, M/s. Diamond International Corporation Limited, M/s. Premium Textile Mills Ltd, M/s. Nishat Mills Limited, M/s. Nishat (Chunian) Limited, M/s. Bhanero Textile Mills Limited, M/s. Ejaz Spinning Mills Limited, M/s. Feroze Mills Limited, M/s. Janana De Malucho Textile Mills, M/s Babri Cotton Mills, M/s. Din Textile Mills Limited, M/s. Fazal CLoth Mills Limited, M/s. N. P. Cotton Mills Ltd, M/s. Idrees Textile Mills Limited, M/s. Wizitex Time Industries Private Limited, M/s. Fazal Textile Mills Ltd, M/s. Rahman Cotton Mills Limited, M/s. Lucky Cotton Mills (Pvt) Ltd, M/s. Saritow Spinning Mills Limited and M/s. Sapphire Textile Mills Limited.

Sources said that in order to eliminate corruption from among the Customs formations, the FBR has taken several measures including green channel, elimination of Principal appraiser role from examination, cross check of assessment by Principal Appraiser was eliminated, AC/DC were given public dealing and etc; all these measures were taken to limit the interaction of Customs officials with the importers.

But, the unscrupulous importers and such elements in companies are exploiting these facilities and inflicting loss through duty/tax evasion.

Sources said that the Board should initiate some stringent system of accountability for the officers and officials where the corrupt and inefficient could be penalized and honest, hard-working officers and officials could be rewarded.

It may be mentioned here that fresh appointments of appraising staff are direly needed to facilitate the trade while the market competitive remuneration packages can also discourage corruption on part of Customs personnel.

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