KARACHI: Pakistan Customs and Reforms & Automation Directorate should take stakeholders into confidence before modifying the automated system, WeBOC.
Karachi Customs Agents Association (KCAA) General Secretary Faisal Mushtaq said this while talking to Customs Today during an exclusive interview at his office.
Commenting on the recent scenario, the KCAA General Secretary said that the cost of doing business should be decreased, so that the common man could be facilitated directly. He demanded of the government to look into the matter and take some effective steps in order to facilitate the importers and business community.
Replying to a question, Faisal Mushtaq said that nowadays, the terminal operators have become the direct beneficiary from the current system.
“The off-dock terminals are working on their own without following the directives of authorities concerned, similarly there is no regulatory body for shipping,” he said, demanding that the Ministry of Ports & Shipping should take immediate step in this regard. He further demanded that the number of free days at the terminals should be counted from the day, the container is grounded.
On the other hand, the off-dock terminals are in at liberty to charge whatever they want to; like, WeBOC has been rolled out to all the off-dock terminals and Air Freight Unit (AFU), but in absence of EDI the rolling out is merely a data entry and service providers have to run from pillar to post at the time of delivery, Mushtaq said.
He further added that KCAA has approached the Project Director in this regard, and the director has also issued a letter in this context that the screens have been provided to off-dock terminals as well as preventive staff, and payments/deliveries should be made according to the message available on the WeBOC screen provided to them. But so far, no administrative orders have been issued by the authorities concerned and every month a new date is given by off-dock terminals/AFU GHA’S, he said.
He insisted that the relevant authorities should take strict action and penalise the terminals who are delaying the EDI development.
Mushtaq further demanded that Pakistan Customs should ensure the early release of EDI message, so that the Customs agents get convenience in clearing process. He urged the Customs authorities to bring positive and contemporary changes in WeBOC for the facilitation of the importers, Customs agents and other stakeholders.
Replying a question about long queues on banks for duty payments, he stated that this is the strong demand of KCAA to increase the number of branches to facilitate the traders. He added that since taking over the charge, he has been pursuing this matter and the higher management of NBP, Humayoun Zafar from PRAL, and Additional Collector MCC Appraisement-West Iqbal Muneeb have also taken up this matter very seriously. Soon four branches of NBP would be made available for payment of duty and taxes using WeBoc, he hoped.