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FTO bars Customs mobile squads from checking cleared fruits

FTO bars Customs mobile squads from checking cleared fruits

LAHORE: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) that the vehicles carrying imported fresh/dry fruits cleared from Customs stations of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan shall not be checked at any Customs check posts or Customs mobile squads.

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 countrywide 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 department.

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.

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Such counterproductive measures are contrary to law, perverse, arbitrary, biased and involve the exercise of power for corrupt motives and falls within the ambit of maladministration.

Therefore, it was aptly pointed out by the FTO to the Member Customs (Ops) who, in compliance with the pointation by the FTO, 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 Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan shall not be checked at any Customs Check post located en-route to inland country or by customs mobile squads.

These vehicles can only be checked on specific information and that too after it has been brought in the knowledge of the respective collector of Customs.