FTO Orders Tax Machinery to Get Rid of Malpractices At Customs Counters

The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO), Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah, has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to rectify the maladministration taking place at customs check posts and fully assured the fullest co-operation in this regard.

In an own motion investigation initiated by the FTO, it was found that multiple complaints were filed regarding harassment leading to corruption at various Customs check-posts on a country-wide basis.

These complaints mostly pertained to interception of duty taxes paid goods moving to their respective destinations as a matter of routine by Customs officials posted at various check-posts without any solid information or approval from the senior hierarchy of the Deptt.

This unnecessary checking of duty paid goods was causing hindrance and delay in the smooth flow of duty/taxes paid goods and was contrary to the government policy of creating ease in doing business. Such counterproductive measures are contrary to law, perverse, arbitrary, biased, and involve the exercise of power for corrupt motives, and fall within the ambit of maladministration.

Therefore, it was aptly pointed out by FTO to the Member Customs (Ops) who, in compliance, issued instructions to the Chief Collectors concerned for strict implementation at Customs field formations, directing them that the vehicle carrying imported fresh/dry fruits cleared from Customs Station of Khyber Pakhtunkwa and Balochistan shall not be checked at any Customs Check post located en-route to the inland country or by Customs mobile squads.

These vehicles can only be checked on specific information and only after it has been brought in the knowledge of the respective Collector of Customs. Cognizance by the FTO and issuance of the above directions, which are now being implemented by the field formations, and Enforcement Collectorates is being appreciated by the affected importers and traders.

Thus, the major objective of this own motion has been achieved and bore fruit.