THE ADVISER TO THE PRIME MINISTER ON FINANCE AND REVENUE

ABDUL HAFEEZ SHEIKH, THE ADVISER TO THE PRIME MINISTER ON FINANCE AND REVENUE

THE ADVISER TO THE PRIME MINISTER ON FINANCE AND REVENUE

I convey my good wishes to Pakistan Customs on celebrating International Customs Day on 26th January 2020. This year’s theme of “Customs’ fostering sustainability for people, prosperity and planet” highlights the ever expanding and important role of Customs for not only helping in economic growth but also protecting the society and the climate of the world.

It is heartening that Pakistan Customs is fully cognizant of its varied responsibilities and efforts are being made to discharge its responsibilities in an efficient and effective manner. In this modern world, revenue collection is only one function of the Customs whereas other important functions are: securing the economic borders, implementing various Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) such as Basel Convention, the Montreal Protocol, the Cartagena Protocol, the Rotterdam Convention, the Stockholm Convention, the World Heritage Convention, and the CITES Convention; and preventing financial frauds. In today’s interconnected and interdependent world, the economic activity and development hinge upon smooth, fast and hassle free trade flows across the borders. Therefore, Customs has to create a balance in facilitating trade and enforcing laws/rules in such a way that it gets transformed into a highly proactive/vibrant organization.

Pakistan Customs has introduced many reforms and its automated clearance system, namely WeBOC, may be updated and modernized to cope with the ever growing challenges to smooth trade flows. The threats like money laundering, smuggling of narcotics and other issues can be tackled systematically by resorting to innovative technologies. I hope that Pakistan Single Window would be a giant leap in the direction of modernization of Customs and other allied agencies for making trade smooth, predictable, and transparent. The need of the hour is that Customs should convert all emerging threats and challenges into opportunities.

I do stress upon the fact that Pakistan Customs should work more closely with World Customs Organization so that the Customs procedures/operations get updated in light of the WCO’s tools and instruments. It is my strong conviction that Pakistan Customs would prove to be a trailblazer in introducing modern technology and would set an example for other organizations to emulate.

At the end, I congratulate Federal Board of Revenue and Pakistan Customs on the progress made so far. I feel confident that the organization would keep making all out efforts for   reforming its business processes by aligning them with international best practices. It is our shared responsibility toward society and the world to work for fostering sustainability for our future.

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