KARACHI: Pakistan Customs has launched a crackdown against importers of iron & steel re-meltable scrap, iron & steel re-rollable scrap, iron & steel bundle scrap for wrongly availing the exemption of Sales Tax and causing loss to the national exchequer to the tune of millions of rupees.

Information was passed through Collector Peshawar Amjad ur Rehman to Additional Collector Dr. Wajid that importers, claiming to be a resident of and having an industrial unit located at, erstwhile FATA/PATA, through different clearing agents availed exemption of Sales Tax.

Subsequently, MCC Peshawar received letter from Commissioner-IR, Corporate Zone, Regional Tax Office (RTO), Peshawar, informing therein that while scrutinizing import record of the units for issuance of “consumption certificate”, it was found that the importers failed to provide requisite documentary evidences / supportive documents for substantiating their claims of consumption of manufactured goods.

Therefore, the importers were found to have wrongly availed the exemption of Sales Tax. Accordingly, the RTO office rejected the request of the importer for issuance of “consumption certificate” and forwarded their case to MCC Peshawar to encash the securities i.e. Post Dated Cheques submitted by the importers. On the basis of above findings of IRS authorities, Collectorate forwarded the Post Dated Cheques to the concerned banks for encashment thereof. However, the same have been returned / dishonored by the banks.

Foregoing in view, it transpired that the importer intentionally and willfully with malafide intention, submitted such securities i.e., PDCs which were not good for payment and dishonored by the concerned Bank(s) resulting in huge loss to the government exchequer.

Therefore, on the directives of Collector Peshawar Amjad ur Rehman, 16 FIRs were lodged against several importers.

The information was then shared to Collector Port Qasim Ashad Jawwad, who assigned Additional Collectors Ali Zaman Gardezi and Javed Sarwar Shaikh, which led to lodging of another 25 FIRs.

Similarly, Collector MCC Appraisement East Fayyaz Rasool assigned Additional Collector Ahsan Khan, Deputy Collector Usman Tariq and Appraising Officer Ghani Soomro to investigate the information.

It was found that importers claiming to be a resident of and having an industrial unit located at, erstwhile FATA/PATA, through different clearing agents availed undue exemption of Sales Tax. MCC appraisement East has lodged 15 FIRs against several importers.

Moreover, Collector Appraisement West Tahir Qureshi formed a team led by Additional Collector Fazl-e-Samad and comprising Assistant Collector Salman Javed, PA Abdul Rasheed Khan and Appraising Officer Majid Bhutto, detected undue sales tax exemptions by importers and lodged 12 FIRs.