ICCI urges govt to take steps for curbing smuggling

Business Recorder

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday urged the government to take strong measures for curbing smuggling as the economy was suffering revenue loss of billions of rupees per annum due to it.
ICCI President Ahmed Hassan Moughal, Senior Vice President Rafat Farid and Vice President Iftikhar Anwar Sethi, in a joint statement, cited a World Bank report that Pakistan suffered revenue loss of Pakistan of around $35 billion during 2000-2009 on account of smuggling.
They said instead of levying new taxes, the government should make efforts to curb smuggling as it was a major hurdle in improving the tax revenue.
The ICCI leaders said an investigative study of Pakistan Customs on smuggling had revealed that 59% of the total demand for products of over half a dozen sectors of the formal economy, including petroleum, tea, mobile phones and auto parts industry, was met through illicit trade of goods.
They said the Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) Preventive, Karachi had investigated 13 commodities prone to smuggling in the country for the fiscal year 2014 and concluded that 11 of them were badly impacted due to illegal trade.
The ICCI leaders said the role of Customs officials was key to control smuggling, but the corruption and bribery were major hurdles in such efforts.
They said many countries had curbed smuggling by utilizing the latest technology and urged the government to also exploit new technology to cope with the issue.
Under-invoicing, they said, was also causing great revenue losses to the economy and government should evolve a new strategy to deal with the issue.

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