KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has directed four oil marketing companies (OMCs) to remove smuggled goods including cigarettes from their retail outlets or else their officials would be vulnerable to fines and jail term of up to six years.
On the Directives of Collector Enforcement Feroz Alam Junejo, Deputy Collector Hoonak Baloch issued the warning has been issued by the Customs department over the weekend amid growing smuggling in the country despite seizing about Rs58 billion worth of goods in the last fiscal year that ended in June.
The Customs department has directed Pakistan State Oil, Shell, Hascol and Pak-Arab Refinery Company (Parco) after it found smuggled goods were being sold at retail outlets of these companies.
Assistant Collector Shafiullah is assigned the task.
The Customs department has made the licenser responsible for the illegal activities of the licensee.
The Collectorate of Customs Enforcement had conducted an exercise in which it found that illicit and foreign-origin cigarettes were being sold at retail outlets of the OMCs. Smuggled goods other than cigarettes were also found at these outlets.
The Customs department has asked the oil marketing companies to remove the smuggled goods from all the minimarts and outlets to avoid anti-smuggling operations.
Smuggling has become a chronic issue and despite focus of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the smuggled goods are available even at the Constitution Avenue retail outlet.
Smuggling and cheaper imports under free trade agreements are the two key challenges to the growth of domestic industries. The cost of smuggling and imports in many industries is lower than the cost of production