ISLAMABAD: Dr Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed, head of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), has promised easy Customs clearance at the Chaman border to facilitate commerce. Ahmed paid a visit to Customs House Chaman on the third and last day of his exciting tour to Balochistan, according to a statement.
Dr Muhammad Saeed Khan Jadoon, FBR Member (Customs Policy), Muhammad Sadiq, chief collector Customs (Balochistan), and Rashid Habib Khan, collector Customs Appraisement, Quetta, joined him.
The NLC authorities made a detailed presentation about the ongoing ITTMS project before the chairman, and informed that the project constituted an important segment of CAREC Regional Improvement of Border Services (RIBS) Programme, of which around 42 per cent work has been completed.
The date of completion project was April 23, 2023; however, in view of the importance of the project to the international trade and regional connectivity efforts are afoot to complete it by the end of December 2022.
Later, the FBR chairman also visited the under-construction areas of the ITTMS project.
He visited Pak-Afghan border crossing point (Friendship Gate/Bab-e-Dosti). Colonel Qamar of Pakistan Army briefed the chairman about the border crossing point and coordination with the Customs authorities regarding cross-border movement of trade, Afghan transit goods, and pedestrian movement.
The FBR chairman, thereafter, visited the Customs offices established at the NLC yard in Chaman.
Assistant Collector Customs Usman Aziz briefed the delegate about the overall performance of Customs Station, Chaman and highlighted the trade facilities being provided to the traders.
He also explained the impediments being faced by the Customs authorities pertaining to “role of terminal operator” and “sanctity and security of cargo due to make shift arrangements.”
The FBR chairman appreciated the exceptional revenue generation performance by the Customs at Chaman, despite the lack of proper infrastructure.
He talked about the concerns of security of the Customs staff/cargo and directed the NLC authorities for the resolution of the issue on a priority basis.
Later, the FBR chairman along with the Member (Customs Policy), FBR and officers of Balochistan Customs visited the Chaman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Muhammad Hashim Khan Achakzai, president of the Chaman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, warmly welcomed the FBR chairman.
The members of Chaman Chamber highlighted the problems being faced by the importers and exporters along with trade bodies of Chaman and pressed for their speedy solutions.
The prime focus remained on the issue of establishment of a dry port in Chaman, common border trade markets, and barter trade.
They also expressed their concerns on the interdiction and subjecting to unwarranted checking of imported consignments by the Customs and other law-enforcement agencies.
The traders also expressed their reservations about the valuation issues pertaining to Afghan origin goods, especially transacted at the Custom House, Chaman.
The FBR chairman gave them a patient hearing and assured them of a meaningful resolution of their legitimate issues, on top priority.