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PGCA voices concern over ‘harassment’ by customs authorities

PGCA voices concern over ‘harassment’ by customs authorities

Peshawar Goods Carriers’ Association has demanded of the federal government and particularly the chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to take notice of the unjustified harassment of the good carriers by the customs authorities.

The demand was made during a meeting held here Sunday with acting president, Peshawar Goods Carriers’ Association, Atta Mohammad Khan in the chair. The participants were included cabinet of the association and members of the action committee. The meeting discussed the problems faced by the transporters in detailed.

The participants of the meeting observed that harassment of customs, police, excise and traffic police has rendered their business difficult. They alleged that instead of the arrest of smuggling, the personnel of Pakistan customs are with hands in glove with smugglers and promoting smuggling. But, punishment is being awarded to those operating the business of good deliveries in the country.

They said that in wake of such situation, the good carriers have decided to take streets and approach media, national anti-graft agency and judiciary against the state agencies particularly Customs. They also decided to also contact Federal Minister for Revenue, Hamad Azhar, Chairman FBR, Shabar Zaidi and Chairman NAB soon.

The participants said that they are in contact with Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Bilour Plaza Traders’ Union, Karkhano Market Traders’ Union and other organizations of the local trading community and hinted to register their joint protest against the highhandedness of the customs and other agencies in front of Peshawar Press Club (PPC) Customs House and FBR soon.

They also threatened the besieging of the Customs Collectorate Peshawar while all responsibilities of any untoward incident will rest on the customs authorities.

The goods carriers alleged that the personnel of Pakistan Customs and Customs Intelligence are collecting extortion from their members and in case of the refusal of the payment of extortion, they used to declare legally imported foreign cloth illegal and register case against the vehicles.

The practice, he said has now been accelerated as the personnel of customs authorities have to show performance for the achievement of targets and misreport small quantity of goods through miscalculation of the statistics of seized goods. They said that most of the seized items used to expire before their auction and while during the auction, the goods is being sold at cheaper rates to inflict heavy loss to national exchequer.

Addressing the meeting, the Acting President, Peshawar Goods Carriers Association, Atta Mohammad said that customs personnel are lacking the procedure to identify the duty paid foreign goods as whatever they seized then they show the seizure of thousands of cartons and bags.

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