LAHORE: Government collected Rs32.85 billion under the head of custom duties in April down 10 percent year-on-year as sinking imports dwarfed the advantage of relatively improving port activities during the last month.
Sources told Customs Today, three major customs collectorates jointly collected Rs36.43 billion in corresponding month of the last year. There was a decline in April although consignment clearance was speed up after port operations got out of lock down stupefying the economy, according to the sources.
The sources said the port activities were partially halted in late March due to lock down imposed by the Sindh government. Consignments piled on as there was a ban on transportation. Demurrage and detention charges continued to increase and traders clamored for resumption of trade.
Later in April, the consignment clearance was increased, despite the lockdown, after the government allowed extension in filing time limit of goods declaration.
Major decline of 40 percent in duty collection was seen at Customs Collectorate Appraisement West, which collected Rs5.08 billion in April 2020, compared with Rs8.51 billion in the same month of the last year.
Meanwhile, Collectorate of Customs Appraisement East registered eight percent decline in duty collection. The Collectorate collected Rs12.51 billion in April, compared to Rs13.61 billion in the same month of the last year.
However, Port Qasim Collectorate posted an increase of 6.6 percent during the month under review. The Collectorate collected Rs15.26 billion in April, compared with Rs14.31 billion in the same month of the last year.
The sources in Pakistan Customs said although duty collection witnessed decline in April the collection was much better when compared with decline in import volume in the comparative month.
Import bill in April was $3.08 billion, compared to $4.71 billion in the same month of the last year, showing a sharp decline of 35 percent. The sources said the duty collection is likely to fall further in coming months as foreign trade is showing significant decline. The collection target for the Federal Board of Revenue has been revised down to Rs3.9 trillion for the current fiscal year, from Rs5.238 trillion.
The overall collection of these three customs collectorates, during the first 10 months, also posted decline of six percent. The Appraisement Collectorate West registered 26 percent decline to Rs78 billion during July-April 2019/20, compared with Rs106 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.
The collection of customs duty at Appraisement East posted 9 percent decline to Rs131 billion. That was compared with Rs145 billion collected in the same period of the last fiscal year. However, the Customs Port Qasim posted 12 percent increase in revenue collection during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year. The collectorat collected Rs169 billion, compared with Rs150 billion.