MULTAN: Illegal Clearance of contraband items and collection of exorbitant demurrage and detention charges from importers with the active connivance of corrupt officials like Port Qasim Authority’s chairman Asad Rafi Chandna and QICT CEO Junaid Zamir is a big question mark on the integrity of maritime affairs ministry. Federal Government must take stern action against these officials to protect the national economy.
It was stated by renowned by businessman of South Punjab and former Vice President of Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Khawaja Muhammad Munir Badar while talking to Customs Today after he came to know shocking evidences against Port Qasim Authority’s chairman Asad Rafi Chandna and QICT CEO Junaid Zamir in a multi-billion demurrage and detention scam.
He said it is shameful that illegal activities are carried out in supervision of high-ups of PQA and QICT through misuse of their entrusted powers. Alleged officials are also involved in the illegal clearances of contraband items through smuggling in the country which harms the economy in several ways. Illegal clearance activities at Port Qasim and QICT undermines the local industry, discourages legal imports and reduces revenues collected from duties by the Federal Government.
He said unfortunately, a parallel underground economy has taken roots in whole Pakistan which causes huge loss to national exchequer. He said illegal clearance of contraband items cannot be done without connivance of said officials and everyone is aware of it but no action is being taken to protect national economy.
He said Pakistan is facing huge challenges and countering enormous revenue leakages through smuggling and illegal collection of demurrage and detention charges by holding genuine import shipments at the time of clearance. According to certain reports, volume of illegal demurrage and detention charges amount is three times the size of regular economy. It shows the alarming rate of smuggling and the impact on the nation’s economy.
He alleged major proportion of the revenue to be collected by the government is being lost due to corruption of accused officials and it also creates adverse impacts on the local industry. Said corrupt officials are running almost parallel economy, which is depriving the country of its rightful levies of worth billions of rupees. As a result of illegal activities of PQA & QICT corrupt officials, thousands of industrial units have been rendered sick in country due to enhanced cost of business and majority of industrialist have already shifted their industries abroad due to unfriendly economic conditions in the country.
He demanded of the government to take strict action against Asad Rafi Chandna and Junaid Zamir to restore confidence of importers and recover looted amount from them.