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Customs lab needs improvement on war-footing basis: Collector Saleem

Customs lab needs improvement on war-footing basis: Collector Saleem

KARACHI: Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) of Appraisement (West) Collector Muhammad Saleem has admitted that the Customs Laboratory needs improvement on war-footing basis.

Collector Muhammad Saleem assured the traders’ community that the Pakistan Customs was working on upgradation of the Customs Laboratory and the improvement would be inducted in the same field within 6 months.

Responding on the grounding issues at Karachi International Containers Terminal (KICT), the Collector MCC-Appraisement (West) claimed that there was “zero pendency” at KICT right now, adding that there were 900 containers in pending when he took charge of Collector, MCC-Appraisement (West). He further said that the staff of Pakistan Customs was working in their off-days i.e. (Saturday and Sunday) in order to ensure smooth flow of trade and removal of pendency at KICT.

Commenting on the dilemma of shortage of manpower, Muhammad Saleem revealed that no new recruitment had been made in Pakistan Customs since 1994 and the Collectorate was working with the same strength as it was witnessed some 20 years ago.

“The performance of department is adversely affected by the paucity of manpower in Pakistan Customs”, he added.

To a query, the Collector MCC-Appraisement (West) said that the Pakistan Customs authorities concerned had raised the issues of stealing goods and delay in clearance of consignments with terminal operators and also issued orders to carry out examination under CCTV cameras in order to avoid the risk of stealing goods.

Commenting on the invoices issue, Muhammad Saleem declared that 88 per cent of the consignments without invoices were arrived at KICT, while only 12 per cent of them having invoices inside the containers. He further said that the absence of invoices inside the containers and mis-declaration of the goods were also the major reasons of delay in clearing the consignments. He urged the importers and trade organisations to ensure correct declaration of the imported goods for speedy clearance of the consignments.