Trade audit
Instead of trying to curb smuggling, underinvoicing and misdeclaration of imported goods, the government frequently resorts to stop-gap measures like imposing regulatory duties and amnesty schemes. There is one simple measure which the government can take to substantially increase revenue. According to China Customs, Pakistan imports $17.23 billion worth of goods from China every year, but according to Pakistan’s import data, the value of our imports from China is only $13.68 billion.
This difference of $3.5 billion is due to underinvoicing and misdeclaration by our unscrupulous importers and it is causing a loss of Rs150 billion to the exchequer every year. The Electronic Data Interchange system between China and Pakistan has been ready since May, but has not been implemented. If the Electronic Data Interchange system is implemented, China Customs will electronically transmit to Pakistan Customs details of each and every consignment exported from China to Pakistan immediately after shipment. This data can be compared by our Customs with the entry filed by Pakistani importers, and in case of discrepancy, the importer must be fined, and duty and taxes recovered on the actual value of the consignment.
Shakir Lakhani (Karachi)
The News, November 11, 2017