Finance Minister Ishaq Dar Tuesday said the government has taken difficult decisions during the last three years to achieve economic stability and hoped that introduction of electronic forms for import would give far-reaching benefit to the economy.
He stated this while speaking at the signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Custom Department regarding issuance of Electronic Import Form (EIF).
The MoU was signed by Governor SBP and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Nisar Muhammad Khan.
The use of electronic form is believed to curb the menace of underinvoicing and transfer pricing in addition to integrating the foreign exchange accounting system of the SBP with Customs clearances.
The Authorised Dealers (ADs) will start approving Electronic Import Form (EIF) requests in web-based one customs (WeBOC) from August 15, 2016.
However, attachment of EIFs with good declaration will start from September 1, 2016. Consequently, manual form will no longer be issued/ used by the ADs from September 1, 2016.
The SBP and Pakistan Customs have started a joint project for issuance of EIF to facilitate importers and strengthen monitoring of import payments from Pakistan.
Finance Minister stated that the issuance of electronic form for importers would facilitate the importers and yield long term benefit to the economy.
“Trader will be able to file application through online form for import” he said adding that Pakistan has achieved stabilisation during the last three years. He said for the first time Pakistan has introduced reforms in the financial sector.
The Minister said that the government has taken very difficult decisions after coming to power three years ago. Pakistan has successfully completed International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, added the minister.
The Finance Minister said government had successfully implemented a number of reforms and the process will continue in the future as well.
According to a statement of Finance Ministry, the Finance Minister stated that Pakistan”s economy has taken off and the merger of Stock Exchange, Pakistan”s return to the international bond market and successful completion of a very tough the IMF programme are proofs of the same.
He stated that for the first time in history, Pakistan has successfully completed the IMF”s Extended Fund Facility programme.
Ashraf Wathra, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan recalled that such automation and co-ordination between the two departments of government could only be seen in the advanced countries but Pakistan is setting new parameters under the leadership of Prime Minister and Finance Minister in working towards greater national goals.
Haroon Akhtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue informed the meeting that the economy is revived and is moving in the right direction. He assured that
FBR will work even harder in the future to meet the expectations of the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
FBR Chairman Nisar Muhammad Khan welcomed the Finance Minister and stated that there has been excellent co-ordination between Customs Department and State Bank of Pakistan which has resulted in the automation of the issuance of electronic form.
He thanked the Minister for the support and encouragement to both the Departments which made automation of Customs business process possible. -Business Recorder