LAHORE: Sharing of information dominates a significant place in customs and Pakistan Customs has been endeavouring to respond rather to reach out to the trade and industry and all other stakeholders for addressing their issues and taking proper steps.
This was stated by central region’s Chief Collector of Customs Lutfullah Virk on the occasion of flag hoisting ceremony on the International Customs Day. Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Tariq Bajwa hoisted the flag to begin the ceremonies. A score of officials at the Model Customs Collectorate Lahore were also present.
“We do not want the people to run after us. Rather we like addressing issues of traders and the stakeholders at their doorstep instead of making traditional speeches. Besides, we prefer responding to their answers positively like recently we did in an inactive session of three to four hours with the traders and industrialists at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry”, he added.
Shedding light on the technological advancement of Pakistan Customs, the chief collector said, “We take pride in the advancement of technology in our department. Our indigenously developed WeBOC system is much more advanced than the Indian information system. They are still at the level of bill of entry whereas we have progressed to single document Goods Declaration (GD).”
He said, “On both fronts, information sharing and information technology, we are probably one of the most advanced public sector departments.”
Talking about the revenue collection performance of the central region, he said that the central region has achieved the highest growth in the country. “We have recorded a growth of 27 per cent in customs duty collection and a growth of 22 per cent in overall taxes which is Rs 56 billion as compared to the total collection of Rs 46 billion during the first six months in the last fiscal year,” Virk added.
Highlighting the social activities of the collectorate, Virk said, “Socially, we have been running an efficient Customs Public School on 50 percent discount to our officers’ offsprings besides providing books and stationery free of cost to the low grade employees. The school enjoys excellent result track in the city”.
He also underscored the social engagements of Additional Collector Dar Asif Mehmood Jah who has been running Customs Care Society which is serving the poor section of the society by providing them excellent health care services. This society is also earning good name of the department.
On the occasion, collector of customs preventive Junaid Akram said individuals without information sharing cannot perform well. He said, “We are mindful that an individual without information cannot take responsibility but an individual with information cannot help and take responsibility.”
“We intend to improve our communication with number of our stakeholders in a variety of ways. First of all we intend to communicate better with the trading community. Secondly we intend to improve the communication with international community. We also intend to improve communication and feedback system within our own organization so we can serve better. Besides we also intend to have better communication with international passengers arriving in Pakistan and the overseas Pakistanis,” the collector of customs said.
He said that Model Customs Collectorate Lahore is very much aware of the fact that communication with all the stakeholders is the key to success. “Pakistan Customs is concious of the prevailing circumstances in the country and vitality of our role in achieving national revenue target. We assure that we will do everything which is humanly possible for us to meet our targets,” he committed.
Collector of Customs Appraisement Zeba Hai Azhar said that presence of a large number of importers, exporters and traders is a proof of the fact that MCC Lahore has an open dialogue with the business community.
Appreciating the shining officers of the department, she said that the customs officers who have worked tirelessly to make the achievement of the targets possible are cogs in the machinery of these collectorates.
Faisalabad Collectorate’s collector Zahid Khokhar, Multan’s collector of customs Tauseef Ahmad, Member IR Ashraf Khan, Saeed Akhtar, LCCI president Sohail Lashari, Mian Anjum Nisar, Aftab Vohra, additional collectors, assistant collectors, deputy collectors, superintendents including Iram Sohail, Amara Ahmad, Rizwan Slabat, Yasin Murtza, Kanwal Ali, Sadia Munib, Mohsin Rafiq, Malik Yasin, Akhtar Joya and a large number of customs officials were present on the occasion.