KARACHI: The audit of 3346 goods declaration (GDs) cleared through green channel in November 2017 is completed and found no irregularities, thus providing legal cover to the abuse of green channel facility. The audit was ordered by the Chief Collector Abdul Rasheed Shaikh and conducted by the principal appraisers having limited access to the information and data as they were not given the internal audit IDs.

Several Principal Appraisers informed Customnews.pk that they were verbally instructed that irregularities only pertaining to the Valuation Rulings were to be reported.

Concessionary rates, classification of goods, submission of mandatory documents and misuse of concessionary regime were not scrutinized as the principal appraisers were only given limited access.

Even more alarming thing is that this so called ‘audit’ will provide a legal cover to all the wrong doings that passed through the Green channel and a huge loss was inflicted on the national exchequer.

Abdul Rasheed Shaikh is known for taking stern actions against the Customs staff in case of irregularities and complaints of corruption. However, he is very lenient with the importers committing frauds and evading government revenue that contravention reports are withdrawn and officers/officials detecting the cases are transferred. Moreover, verbal instructions were conveyed barring the staff from conducting examination of consignments passing through the green channel, even staff was barred from calling mandatory documents.

Abdul Rasheed Shaikh is the only officer who has accorded green channel facility to scrap and used clothes despite the fact these goods are prone to mis-declaration.

An official said state of affairs at the Appraisement South were not good as the Chief Collector had been interfering with the work of collectorates and officers were helpless for the fear of their ACRs.

Shaikh’s policies had given so much confidence to the unscrupulous elements that anything was being cleared through the green channel and these importers were filing GDs in their own name as there was no fear. M/s Digicom cleared thousands of mobile phones in the garb of LED lights through the green channel.