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Customs House Nabha Road gets a face-lift

Customs House Nabha Road gets a face-lift

M. Jehangir

LAHORE: The Customs House Nabha Road, a four-storey building and hub of all customs related activities, has been given a new face-lift by renovation work done by NESPAK.

NESPAK A&P Division Lahore completed renovation of the Customs House Nabha Road, having covered area of 9,006 sqm. The renovation work included documentation and assessment of the existing building, detailed design, tender documentation and construction of this Rs 189 million project, awarded by the Federal Board of Revenue, Islamabad.

According to NESPAK, the interior spaces were planned keeping in view the structural constraints of the building. False ceilings were designed to cater to air-conditioning and lighting needs. Most modern and easy to maintain finishes were proposed in the interior spaces. The external facade was given a contemporary face-lift by adding structural features like parapets and entrance porticos. The site planning was done keeping in view the location of existing trees and storm water drainage issues. Parking sheds were also designed for cars and motorcycles.

The Customs House Nabha Road is administrating the working of its subordinate offices at the Allama Iqbal International Airport, Wagha Border, Dry Port at Baghbanpura and Thokar Niaz Baig.

The major departments operating at the Customs House include Collector of Customs, Model Customs Collectorate, Appraisement, Preventive, Collector of Appeal, Directorate of Post Clearance Audit (PCA) and Adjudication.

All of the departments work under the Customs Act 1969. Collector of Customs collects customs duties, Appraisement assesses customs duties, Preventive looks after import and export traffic at airport and dry ports, Collectorate of Appeals entertains high profile cases which are challenged within three months, PCA conducts internal audit while adjudication deals with goods and articles including confiscated non-duty paid vehicles.

The Lahore Customs House is run by a Chief Collector along with a collector, an additional collector, deputy collectors, assistant collectors, superintendents, deputy superintendents, inspectors, hawaldars, constables, peons and sweepers.

As many as 250 to 300 staff is working at the Customs House to control operations of its sub-offices including airport, dry ports in Lahore while Faisalabad and Multan have nothing to do with the Lahore Customs House, however, both Faislabad and Multan customs offices report to the Chief Collector in Lahore.

The lower staff including drivers, peons and constables are facing problem of residence. “We spend a big part of our salaries on rented houses and it becomes impossible for us to discharge our other obligations in a meager income paid by the government. The government should establish housing colonies for the lower staff like the one for the officers,” a customs constable said.

The Customs House Nabha Road is located in an old building. The construction of the Customs House was started in 1958 and the building was inaugurated by the then Collector Ejaz Elahi Malik in 1961.

The Customs House has immense importance as it adds a big chunk of revenue to the national exchequer by collecting customs duties and controlling the movement of goods and articles.

The building due to extensive wears and tears had lost its grandeur. The renovation work of the Lahore Customs House building was completed during the first month of the current year and inaugurated by former FBR Chairman and Secretary Revenue Division Ali Arshad Hakeem.