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Torkham scam: Over 100 vehicles entered Pakistan without paying taxes, NA told

Torkham scam: Over 100 vehicles entered Pakistan without paying taxes, NA told

ISLAMABAD: At least 113 identified vehicles entered Pakistan from Afghanistan without paying any leviable duties/taxes, the FBR chairman informed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs on Tuesday.

The meeting, which was held under the chair of MNA Faizullah, was given a detailed briefing on the recent scam that occurred at Torkham border.

As per the Federal Board of Revenue chairman, a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) had submitted its report on 18th May 2020, wherein it was revealed that 113 identified vehicles had crossed into Pakistan without goods’ declaration or record for the deposit of leviable duties/taxes.

“Accordingly, criminal cases/FIRs were lodged against the culprits,” he added.

After a detailed discussion on the subject, the committee noted that any further delay in the finalisation of the report would not be tolerated. The FBR chairman assured the committee that the report on the subject matter would be presented within a month’s time.

The parliamentary panel also identified administrative loopholes in the procedures adopted by the customs’ authorities at Torkham. The committee directed the FBR to share the details regarding the officers involved in the said scam and also about actions taken against them.

Meanwhile, FBR Member (Inland Revenue) Dr Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed briefed the committee about the fire incident that occurred at Faisalabad RTO Office. The committee directed that legal action against the culprits should be accelerated.

The committee directed the FBR chairman to look into the complaints received with regard to valuation. It also referred the matter to the sub-committee already appointed under the convenership of MNA Faheem Khan.

Moreover, the committee lamented the absence of the finance secretary, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) president and representatives from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) from the meeting. It directed the committee secretary to issue a “letter of displeasure” to all concerned.

“The Legislative Business (Government Bills) will not be considered without the attendance of Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the meeting,” the committee chairman said.