‘Connectivity Bus’ for sharing Pak-China trade data to be launched soon


-File photo —File Photo

LAHORE: A ‘Connectivity Bus’ to exchange trade data between Pakistan and China has been developed and will be launched soon, Chief Collector Customs Karachi Zahid Khokhar said on Monday.

Speaking in a meeting with business community here at Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI), he said the system would play a vital role in controlling under-invoicing.

LCCI President Abdul Basit, former president Shahid Hassan Sheikh, former SVP Malik Tahir Javed, former VPs Aftab Ahmed Vohra and Shafqat Saeed Piracha, Executive Committee members Moazzam Rasheed, Tariq Mahmood and Muhammad Arshad Chaudhry also spoke on the occasion.

The Chief Collector said the Connectivity Bus was a modern system developed with the latest technology that would drastically reduce under-invoicing in trade with China.

He said another system was also being developed for checking of trading goods and it would reduce human involvement and ensure transparency.

He said WeBOC was a programme of international level and far better than the contrary software, and this system had been developed by local experts and the entire world was acknowledging its efficiency.

Regarding electronic I-Form, he said that data had been compiled and brought into the system. Steps were being taken to make the system friendly.

He said smuggling had been reduced due to good work of law enforcement agencies. Stringent measures had also been put in place to control illegal trade from Pak-Afghan border, he aded.

LCCI President Abdul Basit said Pakistani business community was striving to sustain their businesses through persistent hard work and efforts, and economic policies of the incumbent government were playing a positive role in reviving the country’s economy.

He said the Customs Department and the business community would have to work closely for carrying out business activity.

He also attracted attention of the Chief Collector towards a few issues of core importance.

“The LCCI members should be educated regarding laws, procedures and SOPs followed by Customs through seminars, workshops and hands-on trainings.

“Importers are facing various problems while transporting imported goods from ports to their warehouses as they are frequently stopped by Customs personnel on various check points during transit.

“We believe that consignments once cleared by Customs authorities should not be checked time and again while moving up country,” he mentioned.

He said unnecessary delays in clearance of goods on part of Customs Department should be minimised to save businesses from incurring financial losses.

He said that FBR should amend WeBOC, as only a few options were available in the system if any changes/ modifications were required to be made.

Former LCCI office-bearers Shahid Hassan Sheikh, Malik Tahir Javed, Aftab Ahmed Vohra and Shafqat Saeed Piracha said that number and ratio of duties and taxes should be reduced to promote the tax culture.

They said that Afghan Transit Trade should be reviewed to control smuggling.

There should be a time limit for audit, they said and added that those items which fall under higher duty should be given green channel facility and be exempted from examination.—APP