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Customs rebate to exporters paid as of May last year

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Customs rebate to exporters paid as of May last year

KARACHI: Chief Collector Customs (Enforcement), South, Manzoor Hussain Memon has said that Customs rebate to exporters have been paid as of May 2017.

We are assuring that the payment cycle should not break and shall continue. Rebate shall also be paid in the month of June. Previously, the backlog was span over eighteen months which has been curtailed to eleven months, says a Press release.

Addressing a meeting with office-bearers and leading exporters at Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association’s (PHMA), Memon said, this eleven months backlog which is due to financial constraints and will be further reduced. Efforts are underway to remove the current eleven months backlog. We endeavor to pay Customs Rebate within one month subject to availability of funds. Claims having objections shall be paid after removal of discrepancies.

Manzoor Hussain Memon, Chief Collector Customs (Enforcement), South visited PHMA House on invitation of Jawed Bilwani, Chief Coordinator, PHMA and Chairman Pakistan Apparel Forum, accompanied by his team comprising of Collector Customs (Exports), Dr. Saifuddin Junejo and Collector of Customs (Exports), Muhammad Saqif Saeed.

Responding to the matters and issues apprised by Jawed Bilwani and other exporters, Chief Collector Customs stated that he accords high priority to the Value Added Textile Sector having major share in both textile and national exports. He was of the view that the exporters were reciprocating to the nation while exporting products “Made in Pakistan” which is the great service to the nation. Economic Indicators, current state of affairs of economy, trade deficit as well as export volume was not much satisfactory. It is dire need to enhance exports to improve the situation. In this connection recommendations and inputs has been given to the decision makers in FBR.

Addressing the exporters, Manzoor Hussain Memon added that the automation in the system – WEBOC has streamlined the activities. In respect to Customs Rebate, objections if any are intimated through WEBOC to the exporters. Such objectionable claims are delayed mainly due to lack of regular checking of their WEBOC Account as majority of the exporters do not directly check and had given the task to their clearing agents who at times do not timely intimate the same.

He asked the exporters whose Rebate Claims are pending prior to May 2017 to approach the concerned collectors to remove objections for payments. The Chief Collector Customs stated that amendments have been made in the Rules and now under DTRE, garment stitching units – manufacturers-cum-exporters shall import yarn and other raw materials. Further the exporters can avail the facility of vending from outside.

Replying to query regarding objections raised on composition of products and difference in documents and consignment, he stated that mistakes if any shall be ignored where the difference of rebate is up to 20,000, and if excess of limit shall be checked.

Responding to the demand of exporters to allocate separate examination area for export consignment for inspection PICT, KICT and QICT and increase number of examiners, he stated due to lack of space it was not convenient at this point of time, however, it shall be assured that export consignments shall be timely examined without any delays. First priority be given to exports and second priority to import. Even if any import consignment comes in queue export shipment will be given priority.

He said that there was also shortage of staff and one person doing job of three persons. Nevertheless, due diligence shall be made calling all concerned from KICT, PICT, QICT and SAPT for discussions in this regard.

Earlier Jawed Bilwani welcomed the Chief Collector Customs and his team at PHMA and in his key notes highlighted the importance of exports to uplift the national economy, terming exports as the lifeline. He said that the exporters were facing liquidity problems due to stuck up refunds of billions of rupees and their running capital was diminishing. Apprising the customs-related issues, Bilwani urged for timely payments of Custom Rebate Claims of exporters and proposed that Rebate shall be paid with the export proceeds.

Commenting on the eleven months backlog he stated that it is actually fourteen months as export proceeds realized in three months. He expressed his concern that when export remittances of exporters are not realized within 180 days, SBP issues notices for immediate arrangement of remittances while exporters’ refunds stuck with the Govt. even after time specified in rules and procedures nothing happens.

Jawed Bilwani demanded that the government must accord priority to exports over imports. Separate Examination Areas of Exports Consignments for inspection of goods at Terminals / PICT, KICT, QICT & SAPT must be allocated. Exporters face timing problems in respect to Customs Examinations. No Custom Examination facility available in night at PICT, KICT and SAPT.

While at QICT Night Examination facility is available. Custom Examination facility should be made available in night at PICT, KICT and SAPT. He urged that the number of examiners should also be increased for both day and night examinations. He also demanded to improve repacking system after examination. He was of the view that repacking system at QICT is better and same should be adopted that other three terminals.

Bilwani informed that members have told that During Examination the composition of export consignments are examined and objections are raised on compositions like 60/40 (Cotton, Polyester) or 70/30, due to difference on documents and consignment. In case of no change in Rate of Rebate or no Revenue Loss such objections should not be made. Due to human error some wrong entry is made in weight. Some mechanism should be introduced to rectify the error in the system so that the export shipment should not be delayed.

Bilwani also urged that GD should be issued within 24 hours. He also demanded to simplify the process of DTRE allowing the garment stitching units – manufacturers-cum-exporters to import yarn and raw material for manufacturing goods meant for export. He also urged to omit the requirement of declaration of locally purchased goods on License, Analysis Card and Good Declaration in WEBOC and Relevant Rules may be amended.

The meeting was attended by Zubair Motiwala, Chairman (CAPTA), Tariq Munir Chairman (PHMA), Junaid Makda Deputy Chief Coordinator (PHMA), Saleem Parekh Chairman (APTPMA), Babar Khan Chairman (FBATI), Jabbar Gajiani Senior Vice Chairman (PHMA), Irfan Z. Bawany former Chairman (PHMA), Saqib Bilwani, Fawad Usman and other leading exporters who also exchanged their views.