QUETTA: The Collectorates of Customs in the jurisdiction of the Chief Collector’s Office Balochistan, Quetta set a new record and collected historic revenue amounting to Rs 99.7 billion in the financial year 2021-22, i.e. 53% more than the income collected last year.

Compared to last year when Rs 65 billion in revenue was collected, the Balochistan region collected record revenue of nearly Rs 100 billion or Rs 35 billion more. Rs 34.7 billion more than the Rs 65 billion revenue collected in the previous financial year 2020-21, resulting in a 53% increase in revenue collection compared to last year.

Collectors collected customs duties amounting to Rs 18.2 billion against FBR’s assigned target of Rs 22.9 billion despite the prevailing administrative and security challenges in Balochistan and the problems encountered. The main challenges in collecting customs duties were that during the reporting period, the Chaman border remained closed for almost two months due to the Taliban takeover and the resulting political uncertainties. This closure occurred at the height of the seasonal importation of fruits such as pomegranates, grapes, apples and melons, etc., which are the main sources of income for the Collectorate.

The disruption and diversion of trade during this period caused significant loss of revenue to the Collectorate of Customs Appraisal, Quetta. Bazarcha was a second import gate/crossing point adjacent to customs, Taftan for Iranian import. Bulk import from this point included ceramic tiles, clinker, dates, cement, etc. However, Bazarcha was closed to commerce by the federal government in June 2021. As a result, bulk items previously imported through this point were no longer brought through this gate due to multiple factors. This also led to a substantial reduction in imports from Taftan and ultimately impacted revenue collection.

The comparative data of major dutiable imports for the current and last fiscal year have been analyzed, which reveals a considerable reduction in imports of such items as pistachio, net cloth, nylon rope, almond , raisins, cashew nut, cumin seeds, glassware, Nylon dyed mesh net, green tea, fabric subject to customs duty. The fee structure has been revised on White Spirit PCT 2710.1240, which is an important source of revenue from the Collectorate of Customs, Appraisement, Quetta. This has led to an overall decline in the collection of customs duties to a greater extent. Besides white spirit, duties have also been reduced to zero on methylhexonic acid.

The rate of customs duty on imports of LPG is zero. The volume of imports of LPG and related items constitutes up to 50% of the Collectorat’s total imports in terms of value. The import of LPG is expected to increase further since the demand for LPG increases even more in winter. But as the duty rate on this item is zero, so it does not contribute to the Collectorat’s CD collection figures.

On the anti-smuggling side, the Law Enforcement Collectorate as well as the Gwadar Customs Collectorate have made commendable seizures of smuggled and contraband goods. During the period 2021-22, seizures worth Rs 13.4 billion were affected, despite an extended geopolitical area and HR and logistics constraints. The Gwadar Collectorate contributed Rs 61.4 billion in revenue, however, major imports are from POL cleared by M/s. BYCO, shipbreaking and bulk coal.

The Collectorates performed exceptionally well under the leadership of Customs Operations member Syed Muhammad Tariq Huda and the active supervision of Baluchistan Customs Chief Collector Muhammad Sadiq. The efforts of the Collectorates have been recognized and recognized by FBR (Customs) and awards for rendering meritorious services to officers and officials of the Collectorates have been awarded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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