ISLAMABAD: The smuggling of Iranian goods into Pakistan increased considerably after the imposition of international sanctions against Tehran, officials of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Tuesday informed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Tuesday.
The member, customs, FBR categorically stated that the authorities have not received any directive from the government to take lenient view of the situation.
The committee invited top FBR officials to give a briefing on the issue of smuggling and under-invoicing which was hurting the national economy.
The committee, which met under Khwaja Sohail Mansoor, MNA, was informed that the government had “no secret agreement” with Iran to allow its goods into Pakistan to help the country after international sanctions on trade.
Member, Customs (FBR), Riaz Ahmed Khan admitted that the incidence of smuggling from Iran had increased, but he had no answer when asked how it was possible without the connivance of tax authorities.
According to him, smuggling was taking place in the Panjgur area and “not from the Taftan” border crossing. He said that smuggled goods were being dumped in Lahore, especially “plastic dana”. He told the committee that FBR has confiscated smuggled goods worth Rs56 billion during the past fiscal year, largely originating from Iran and Afghanistan.
About trade with Afghanistan, FBR officials said that smuggling incentives had reduced considerably after the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement, which had helped regularise trade and increased customs revenues to Rs218 billion 2011-12. They said that licenses had been issued to tracking companies to check the movement of cargo.
FBR representatives also said that only three percent of cargo was being transported by NLC and remaining cargo was being transported by bonded carriers.
In reply to question of the committee members, he said that it had been decided by the National Logistics Board headed by the Finance Minister that in case NLC was unable to transport its share, registered transporters would have to acquire NOC from NLC for Rs8,000.