FPCCI demands regulating container terminals under Customs Act
KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has demanded regulating the container terminals under the provisions of Customs Act, 1969, a statement said on Wednesday.
The FPCCI said the container terminals should be regulated as per the provisions under 203, 14, 14A of the Customs Act; and, best practices as per the international standards should be adopted. The container terminals also need to invest in their infrastructure, machinery and capacity-building, it added.
The office-bearers of the FPCCI raised this demand during a visit of top officials of Pakistan Customs to the FPCCI headquarters.
Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, president of the FPCCI, welcomed Wajid Ali, chief collector MCC Appraisement and Facilitation (South), to the Federation House along with other senior Customs officials; Dr Tahir Qureshi, Collector Customs (West) and Fayyaz Rasool Maken, Collector Customs (East).
The visit was aimed at detailed discussions on the Customs-related issues chronically faced by the business, industry and the trade community of Pakistan; and, brainstorming for their resolution on a fast-track basis.
Nasir Khan, vice president of the FPCCI, said the issues of misuse of concessions given to erstwhile Fata and Pata are discouraging other manufacturers. He also emphasised the need to better regulate the container terminals to prevent losses to the traders.
Hanif Lakhany, vice president of the FPCCI, expressed dissatisfaction that the Classifications Committee at the Customs House does not have representation of the apex trade body of Pakistan, i.e., FPCCI.
Shabbir Mansha Churra, convener of the FPCCI’s Central Standing Committee on Customs, appreciated the online process of FTA verification and requested the Customs officials to further pursue the agenda of reforms and automation in consultation with the business community.
He also expressed concerns over the recent hacking of the FBR’s system and questioned the security of confidential data of the business community.
Churra said that the business community faces a lot of hardships on account of encashment of pay orders submitted with the Customs for valuation, Section 81 or miscellaneous disputes; as the authorities do not inform the traders before encashment and the refunds take time and efforts unnecessarily.
The participating traders in the meeting also expressed their concern over the delay in manual resolutions of the cases of amendments and refunds; demurrage charges far exceeding contravention reports; the lack of uniformity in the disposal of Sections 81, 25A, 25D and excessive adjudication cases.
Last, but not the least, Finance and Revenue Minister Shaukat Tarin has promised to the FPCCI that a help desk will be set up at the Federation House; and as a result, a Help Desk for sales and income taxes has been notified.
The FPCCI requested the Customs Department to set up a Help Desk for Customs-related issues, as well, at the FPCCI head office to make timely resolution of the Customs disputes a reality.
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