Islamabad: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday asked the government to reduce impact of system on the international trade by simplifying and harmonising the cumbersome procedures.
It will reduce cost of doing business, ensure predictability, benefit governments and taxpayers, guarantee higher revenues, attract investment and improve the international rating of the country, it said.
Exporters and importers are facing issues like unnecessary documentation, lack of transparency and rapid legal redress, excessive clearance time, absence of co-ordination between concerned agencies, and absence of modern customs techniques, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
The initiatives taken so far has left much to be desired except for introduction of Pakistan Automated Customs Computerised System (PaCCS) which was a step towards adoption of international best practices. The country has earned huge profits through the system because of speedy, transparency and corruption-free module, he said.
Installation of this software on terminals helped ease international trade without compromising efficient collection of custom revenues, he added.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said PaCCS not only shifted country’s entire manual trade to an automated solution but also detected of many fraud cases including the multi-billion-dollar Container Scam.
Unfortunately, this revolutionary software was replaced by Web Based One Customs (WeBOC), a semi automated solution with a history of glitches, crashes and poor performance.
Stakeholders were not taken on board before the decision that left trading community unhappy, customs inspectors more powerful and country more uncompetitive, he said.
WeBOC cannot operate without physical verification and traders must bear extra cost for speedy clearance, hence the software only serves the purpose of few, Dr. Mughal observed.
He said that government should undo such moves which can push country further below in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI).
Pakistan stands 110th in the International LPI ranking while India stands 47th and Bangladesh stands 79th.
He said that improvement in LPI ranking is only possible when attention is paid to Customs, infrastructure, international shipments, logistics competence, and tracking and tracing etc.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Murtaza Mughal
Pakistan Economy Watch
402, 4th Floor, Gulistan Khan House, Fazal-e-Haq Road,
82-East, Blue Area, Islamabad
Tel: +9251 251 0375
Fax: +9251 280 2449
Cell: +92321 515 7671