KARACHI: Director General Transit Trade (TT) Khawar Farid Maneka has directed the officials concerned for early rolling out of pending transit trade modules in the Web Based One Customs (WeBOC) to streamline operation of the transit trade.
Chairing an important meeting at the Directorate General of Transit Trade here, Mr Maneka also reviewed discrepancies in weight at Chaman and Torkham border posts and absence of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) messaging with Afghan Customs at Chaman.
On the occasion, the participants of the meeting stressed the need for further streamlining the working of the transit trade with conciliation of TIs, closer coordination between the DG Transit Trade at Karachi and the Regional Directorates at Peshawar and Quetta for effective data collection and monitoring of cargoes.
The director general transit trade asked Additional Director Aftab Haider to roll out the pending transit trade modules on priority basis. He also directed TT (HQ) Additional Director Chaudhry Muhammad Javaid and the MIS (HQ) deputy director to coordinate with the Directorate of Reforms and Automation to prioritise the rolling out of pending transit modules.
The director general transit trade also directed Aftab Haider to launch interface between the WeBOC and TPL, the gadget for tracking transit trade cargoes. At which he assured that the interface would be ready for launching within two weeks.
When Mr Maneka was informed that the internet facility to upload documents in WeBOC system at Torkham are at par with the professional standards, he asked the TT Peshawar director to furnish a detailed report about the installation of fibre optic at Torkham. He also directed the TT Chaman assistant director to upgrade the internet facilities at Chaman to bring it at par with the professional standards.
The meeting was informed that due to non-issuance of T1s on time by Afghan Customs at the transit trade Peshawar Directorate and Quetta, a large number of T1s are awaited from the Afghan Customs. It was also pointed out that absence of an official link between Pak-Afghan Border Customs Stations is resulting in handing over of duplicate, quad-duplicate copies to border clearing agents upon submission of an undertaking to get the acknowledgement of the Afghan TT Caro from the Afghan Customs at Kandahar and Jalalabad. The director general transit trade took strong exception to this and directed to get the T1s and feed them into the system on priority basis.
The director general transit trade also took strong exception to issuance of unusually high number of alerts by the TPL and directed to initiate penal action against the bonded carriers as per the relevant rules.
Mr Maneka directed the transit trade Karachi Director and Additional Director to hold meetings with bonded carriers to ensure that bonded carriers up to Torkham and Chaman follow the routes as notified in rule (XXV) of SRO 121(I)/2014 dated February 24, 2014.
It is to be noted that the prescribed route for Chaman is Bela-Khuzdar-Mastung-Quetta-Chaman but the bonded carriers are taking Karachi-Hyderabed-Moro-Kahirpur-Sukker-Shikarpur-Jacobabad-Sibbi-Mach-Spezand-Quetta-Kuchlak-Chaman rout.
Similarly, the prescribed route for Torkham is Karachi-Hyderabad-Rotodero-DG Khan-Kohat-Peshawar-Jamrud-Torkham but both the bonded carriers and the US/NATO/ISAF cargo are increasingly following Indus Highway-Kohat—Peshawar-Torkham and Indus Highway-Attock-GT Road-Peshawar-Torkham respectively due to security reasons.
The participants was informed that sub-committee of the Steering Committee constituted by the Finance Ministry comprising Secretary Defence, Secretary Commerce and FBR Chief (International Customs) along with the Frontier Corps Balochistan IG and the representatives of the Asian Development Bank and Pakistan Railways had recently visited Chaman and Torkham to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a Border Complex for both the goods and passengers.
The meeting was informed that the ADB had agreed to extend funds for the establishment of border complex at Torkham, Chaman and Wagah.
It was also told that the transit trade directorate general had requested the FBR to pursue the matter with the APTTA about export of Afghan transit cargo being transported in open trucks from Chaman and Torkham as had been the practice in the past.
The TT DG also discussed at length the issue of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) messaging pilot project at Torkham Border Station which launched in November last year. It was informed that neither the messages had proper format nor third party audit of the project could be undertaken so far. It was further informed that there existed no EDI messaging with Afghan Customs at Chaman.
Meanwhile, the TT Karachi Director informed the chair that 12,609 insurance guarantees could not be released due to the unwillingness of the clearing agents/Afghan importers concerned to receive/acknowledge them.
Mr Maneka directed the Director and Additional Director to examine the viability of option of releasing the insurance guarantees directly to the insurance companies concerned.
Similarly, on being informed that though the WeBOC system has the capacity to handle uploaded images currently the system cannot handle the volume of scanned images, the TT DG advised all Regional Directors to devise ways and means to handle the problem. He also advised them to ensure uniformity of action at all points.
The meeting was attended by TT Karachi Director Ibrahim Vighio; Peshawar Director Dr Nadeem Khan; Quetta Director Gul Rehman; TT Karachi Additional Director Ch Muhammad Javaid; Reforms & Automation Add Director Syed Aftab Haider; Deputy Director (HQ) Asadullah Larik; Deputy Director Mumtaz Ali Raza Chaudhry; Assistant Director (PQ) Syed Shoaib Raza; TT Chaman Assistant Director Syed Talha Salman and TT Karachi Assistant Director Fazal Dad Chaudhry.
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