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Revenue Board fails to recover Rs 200 million from two companies

ISLAMABAD (April 16 2003) : The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has failed to recover Rs 200 million from two Karachi-based companies allegedly involved in mis-declaration of electrical appliances imported from Korea.

The importers have grossly mis-declared goods through under-invoicing of consignments to evade the authorities.

The gross tax evasion could be judged from the fact that about 50,000 air-conditioners were mis-declared.

On the other hand, the air-conditioners with the same description, brand and capacity were earlier imported from the same manufacturer at 42.60 percent to 75.80 percent higher declared value as compared to the above mentioned under-declared consignment.

The concerned tax collector has apprehended that the delay in the adjudicating proceedings might deprive the government of Rs 200 million.

The CBR has decided to expedite the adjudication proceedings for speedy recovery of government dues without causing further loss to the national exchequer.

Collectorate of Customs, Bin Qasim Port, Karachi, has informed the CBR that two companies imported assorted models of branded air-conditioners from Korea in January-February 2003.

The Customs processing staff was in possession of evidence of much higher declared value of the same branded air-conditioners imported from the same sources.

The officials were of the view that the extent of loss of revenue in two consignments was Rs 25 million and Rs 2 million respectively.

The total loss on account of import of 50,000 pieces was worked out as Rs 200 million.

While the case was under process in the collectorate, the importers invoked the jurisdiction of higher judicial fora, who ordered the authorities to detain air-conditioners sufficient to cover the differential amount of duties and taxes.

The concerned collectorate framed contravention cases against the importers and subsequently the adjudicating authorities served show cause notice on the importers.

The collectorate of Customs claimed that the cases could not be adjudicated within the given timeframe because of non co-operative attitude of the importers.

The importers filed another application in the court contending that the cases were not been decided within six weeks, therefore, the detained goods should be released unconditionally.

The court ordered that the entire disputed amount would be divided equally in 10 cheques to be deposited with the concerned collector and goods would be released forthwith. Secondly, the matter should be finally decided.

The CBR has filed an appeal against the above mentioned order for granting stay.

The collector was of the view that as a huge amount of government revenue was involved, the CBR should direct the adjudicating authorities to complete the proceedings on top-priority basis.

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