Ahmed Noor Steel Furnace caught defrauding national exchequer, FIR lodged

KARACHI: MCC Appraisement West has lodged an FIR against M/s Ahmed Noor Steel Furnace for mis-declaring the description of imported goods to evade legitimate government revenue.

M/s Ahmed Noor Steel Furnace had been importing goods and had cleared 284 consignments from Green Channel at MCC Port Qasim. However, on the directives of Collector Port Qasim Ashad Jawwad, Additional Collectors Ali Zaman Gardezi, Javed Sarwar Shaikh and Mushtaq Shahani tightened vigilance at MCC Port Qasim, therefore the imported attempted to get the consignment cleared from MCC Appraisement West.

The consignment was cleared and was at gate out stage, when on the information received from a FBR officer, Collector MCC Appraisement West Nasir Jamal advised Additional Collector R&D Zubair Shah to block the consignment and investigate the matter.

Information was that the M/s Ahmed Noor Steel Furnace was clearing GP sheets of secondary quality under the garb of re-meltable scrap. The consignment comprising nine containers was examined by Mushtaq Ahmed and Najeeb Abid, which led to recovery of iron and steel galvanized/pre-painted stee; sheet of secondary quality (200 tons) against the declared remeltable scrap.

It is established the importer along with facilitators clandestinely attempted to clear goods on mis-declared description to evade government revenue of Rs12.46 million. The role of agent M/s Shah Logistics Pakistan is also being determined.

An official said earlier while SRO 1125 was in force, Inland Revenue used to issue license of manufacturer importer enabling the importers to avail certain concessions. Now Ministry of Industries issues a similar certificate/license to importers enabling them to avail 3.0 additional sales tax and one percent income tax concessions on imports to be used for manufacturing.

However, most of the importers are availing the concessions meant for manufacturers and selling the imported goods in the market causing revenue loss to the national exchequer.

It was also known that certain companies/importers having the license/certificate from Ministry of Industries rent their license/certificate to commercial importers. This way, goods are imported by commercial importers on discounted rates causing loss to the national exchequer.

M/s Ahmed Noor Steel Furnace cleared 284 consignments from green channel at MCC Port Qasim, which need to be investigated and scrutinized.

An official said Green channel is the biggest scam. Scrap and used clothing was put in green channel by a former Chief Colelctor and since then through mis-declaration and under-invoicing, certain elements have caused loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer. Several FIRS have been lodged against many importers misusing the green channel facility.

Sources said border smuggling was just a peanut as compared to the smuggling through green channel. Chief Collector Surayya Butt is a very reputed and competent officer, however no action has been taken so far to rectify the problem.

To recall, recently a serious lacunae was detected in the WeBOC system and a committee was formed led by Ashad Jawwad to investigate the issues in the WeBOC system. The committee furnished the report mentioning that there was technical problem I the system, which had been removed.

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