MCC seeks FBR instructions regarding blocked fabric consignments

KARACHI: Collector MCC Appraisement West Wajid Ali has approached FBR seeking instructions whether to provisionally release import consignments of M/s Iqra Textiles or keep the same on hold as requested by Inland Revenue Wing.

Inland Revenue Wing of FBR had identified 12 suspected units and advised Customs authorities to hold the clearance of consignments of these units including M/s Iqra Textile. These companies are involved in misusing of concessionary SRO 1125(I)/2011 and evasion of over Rs5.0 billion of sales tax on import of finished fabric.

Subsequently Collector MCC Appraisement West Wajid Ali and Collector MCC Port Qasim Mumtaz Khoso blocked all import consignments of M/s Iqra Textile, which then approached Sindh High Court seeking provisional release of imported fabric subject to deposit of disputed amount of duty and taxes. The court granted the petition and advised Customs not to cash the pay order/bank guarantee till further orders. Customs has approached FBR seeking further directions in this regard.

SRO 1125(I)/2011 has been widely misused causing mammoth loss to national exchequer.  It is interesting to note that despite requesting Customs to block import clearance of certain companies, the status of M/s Iqra Textile is still ‘Active’ on IRS Portal.

An official said the Inland Revenue enabled the misuse of SRO 1125(I)/2011. A large number of bogus companies were registered with IRS as manufacturers despite the fact that these companies did not meet the requirements to be registered as a manufacturing concern.

It was known that running manufacturing units and even the license can be obtained on rent to hoodwink IRS officials. Moreover, these companies switched IRS Zones to escape any inquiry if initiated.

Sources said whenever any such company was detected to be defrauding the exchequer, IRS served Show Cause Notices on such company and cleared the companies after a fraction of the recoverable amount is deposited in the exchequer and their profile remains active. It was known companies liable to pay hundreds of millions were cleared on payment of just millions in the national exchequer, while IRS officers kept getting rich themselves.


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