Quetta Chamber of Commerce demands immediate release of seized pistachio consignments

QUETTA: Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI) noted the business community of Balochistan has always been treated unfairly, discriminately, and sometimes even unlawfully at the hands of the relevant Federal Institutions.

QCCI in a statement noted the Local Valuation Committee of Model Customs Collectorate (MCC), Quetta, in consultation with the DG of Customs (Valuation), Custom House, Karachi, had determined the Custom Value of Pistachio and Pistachio Shelled imported via land routes from Iran through Taftan.

The said ruling contained the details/rationale for determining the different custom value for Pistachio and Pistachio Shelled imported via land routes from Iran through Taftan than its counterpart imported via sea route.

QCCI noted in spite of lawful valuation/clearance done as per the above said ruling, Customs I&I Quetta while exceeding its authority in light of SRO 486(I)/207 unlawfully detained goods and vehicles containing Irani pistachio and pistachio shell imported via land route through Taftan.

QCCI said I&I Quetta unlawfully applied Valuation Ruling No. 1031/2017 Irani pistachio and pistachio shell imported via land route and not by sea.

QCCI noted the unfair, unreasonable and illegal act of I&I Quetta was discouraging trade and adversely affected socio-economic situation of the province, particularly in form of encouraging smuggling.

QCCI demanded immediate release of the seized goods and vehicles.

Meanwhile, a Custom official said non-application of Valuation Ruling No. 1031/2017 on pistachio caused a loss of over Rs800 million last fiscal year.

The official said there were several irregularities in the business of traders and non-application of other Valuation Rulings on assessment of nylon mesh net fabric, cumin caused loss to the exchequer to the tune of millions of rupees.

Moreover, the traders were also avoiding regulatory duty on potatoes, while anomalies in weight of whey powder, artificial jewelry, glass ware, cumin seeds, suiting fabrics at NLC dry port Quetta was also causing loss to the national exchequer despite application of relevant valuation rulings.

On the other hand, import and clearance of high value goods such as tea, auto parts and dry fruits in the garb of low value goods was also on for a long time.

Sources said Customs Quetta, in coordination with Chambers of Commerce, devised policies keeping in view the geographical characteristics of the province to bring smuggled goods into the tax net.

Sources said, in past, Collectorates used to issue valuation rulings to provide relief to the business community when necessary.

The Collectorate adopted ‘carrot and stick’ policy at times to facilitate business community’s legitimate interests due to which Customs Quetta surpassed revenue target despite declining imports.

Customs Quetta is leading the charts in terms of growth in revenue collection posting highest revenue growth in the history.

 

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