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MoC & FBR refuse to provide basic information to AGP about FTAs

MoC & FBR refuse to provide basic information to AGP about FTAs

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Commerce (MoC), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and its customs field formation offices have refused to provide basic information relating to all free trade agreements and details of certificate of origin referred to respective embassies, to the Auditor General of Pakistan. Auditor General has recommended to the government that responsibility should be fixed against responsible persons for non-production of record.

According to details, Auditor General had requested to additional secretary Ministry of Commerce to provide the basic information relating to all free trade agreements. The audit team had visited Ministry of Commerce to gather the relevant information.

For the purpose, frequent meetings were conveyed with the Deputy Secretaries FT-1 (China and Malaysia) and FT-III (Sri Lanka). The information relating to SPFTA was provided by the Deputy Secretary (FT-III) only but no information was provided about CPFTA and MPFTA by the deputy secretary (FT-II) despite communication.

Further, all the Collectorates of the North Region were requested vide O.M. No.03/ DGAC & P/ FAT-1 / FTA & PTA / MISC to provide the details of Certificate of Origin referred to respective embassies but no information was provided by the Customs Collectorates Faisalabad and Peshawar despite several reminders.

It is important to mention here that according to section 14 (2) and (3) of the Auditor General’s (Functions Power and Terms and Conditions of service) Ordinance, 2001, the officer-in-charge of any office or department had to afford all facilities and provide record for audit inspection and comply with request for information in as complete a form as possible and with all reasonable expedition.

Any person or Authority hindering the auditorial functions of the Auditor General regarding inspection of accounts was subject to disciplinary action under relevant efficiency and discipline rules.