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Growth in trade directly linked to Customs performance: Bajwa

Growth in trade directly linked to Customs performance: Bajwa

LAHORE: Pakistan Customs performance is linked to creation of a level playing field for business, trade and industry within the country.

This was stated by Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Tariq Bajwa after the flag hoisting ceremony on International Customs Day at Customs House, Lahore.

He said that absence of proper communication system badly affects overall performance of an organization. “Without communication an organization cannot perform effectively. In order to perform optimally you must have a robust communication system,” the chairman said while addressing the customs officers.

“We lack communication with the businesses”, he regretted, adding that if there is no gap in communication then there will be no clarification required to be made in newspapers.

He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision is to make Pakistan a trade and transit hub for Central and South Asian regions. For this purpose we have come up with an Integrated Transit Trade Management System.

All information, from entry to exit point, will be communicated in real time, Bajwa informed, adding that this system will help match the information of the goods in the containers at the time of entry with the information at the time of exit from any border area in Pakistan including Karachi, Torkham, Chaman and Wagha.

“The plan is going to be finalized and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is very keen to translate this vision into reality and at the back bone of this system there is going to be a very effective communication strategy,” the chairman informed.

While explaining the importance of customs, he said Customs Department anywhere is custodian of the economic frontiers of a country.  He said, “If Pakistan Customs does not perform its job efficiently and effectively, we will not be able to create a level playing field for business, trade and industry within Pakistan. In case we are ineffective, genuine traders and industrialists cannot compete with the smuggled goods,” the chairman pointed out.

He opined that if the customs duty is not collected properly as in case of under-invoicing, then there are undue advantages for smugglers.

“All of us, including me have a role to play. Our performance has a direct correlation with economic growth of our country,” Tariq Bajwa said.

“My assessment is that there is a long way to go. We are far from the optimal level of our performance. We are far from our true potential. But we are not far from achieving the potential we are supposed to have in the given circumstances, if we take out the best of us” he said.

He urged the customs officers to achieve the potential by fulfilling their commitment, passion and hard work. “I am satisfied that a little improvement has been made in few months. But we need to cover a long journey ahead. Only in this way we can help the country to move forward to a better economic future. Without that there is a dim future for all of us. We have been assigned a hugely important task and therefore, I expect all of us to rise to the challenge”, the chairman said.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, the chairman told Customs Today that betel leaf scam was being investigated but the process will take some time.