LAHORE: A Seminar on the Pakistan Customs Strategic Plan 2019-2024, was organized for the officers of Pakistan Customs Central Region in Lahore on 27th September 2019.

Dr. Jawwad Uwais Agha, Member Customs (Operations), Federal Board of Revenue, was the Chief Guest on the occasion. All the officers of BS-17 and above of the Central Region participated in the Seminar.

The Director General Training and Research (Customs), Mr. Faiz Ahmad, presented the Welcome address and informed the participants that this is the second Seminar for creating awareness and ownership about the five year Strategic Plan.

Director General Post Clearance Audit, Mr. Abdul Rasheed Sheikh, also addressed the Seminar and highlighted the role of Strategic Planning in the realm of Risk Management.

He underlined the significance of risk management in an automated self-clearance environment where balance needs to be established between facilitation of legitimate trade and effective enforcement of laws and rules.

The Chief Collector Customs (Enforcement) South, Dr. Wasif Ali Memon, in his remarks explained the role of Post Clearance Audit in the overall working of modern Customs administrations. He emphasized that without strengthening Post Clearance Audit neither clearance time can be reduced nor the issue of residual risk can be addressed.

The Director General Customs Valuation, Mr. Mukarram Jah Ansari, informed about the issues related with Customs Valuation and highlighted the efforts for reforms in line with World Trade Organization and World Customs Organization guidelines.

Mr. Mumtaz Ali Khoso, Collector Customs, Model Customs Collectorate Port Muhammad Bin Qasim, in his presentation explained the Strategic Objectives and their importance for effective Customs operations.

Mr. Ahmad Rauf, Collector Customs, Model Customs Collectorate (Preventive) Lahore, in his presentation highlighted specific projects in the Strategic Plan, implementation timelines and Key Performance Indicators given in the Plan.

Member Customs (Operations), in his Keynote address, informed about the steps so far taken for enhancing organizational capacity, reforms and restructuring in Pakistan Customs to cope with the emerging challenges.

Member Customs (Operations) informed the participants about the progress achieved by Pakistan Customs at both National and International levels. At national level, the Customs has been re-organized on professional lines of Appraisement and Enforcement streams. Accordingly, new field formations/Collectorates relating to these streams have been established across the country.

Human Resource has accordingly been deployed at these formations on need basis. Progress regarding modernization in automation of Pakistan Customs i.e. from WeBOC to the new WeBOC Glo version was highlighted. He also highlighted the lead role of Pakistan Customs in National Single Window (NSW).

Member Customs (Operations) emphasized the importance of reforms in light of changing socioeconomic environment and for better service delivery. He stated that deployment of Information and Communication Technology, Artificial Intelligence and modern management techniques are essential for trade facilitation and effective enforcement of laws and rules.

Member Customs (Operations) highlighted the role of Customs as defender of economic frontiers and its contribution in the development of the country. He expressed appreciation of the role of World Bank in the development of the Strategic Plan and hoped that effective implementation of this five years Plan will not only ensure organizational development but will also be instrumental in reduction in cost of doing business. He applauded the team members who played role in making the Strategic Plan a comprehensive document, as without a blue print for the future development, effective reforms and restructuring could not be carried out.