Registration of smuggled vehicles

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KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) amnesty scheme, which was enforced on March 7, 2013 and expected to register 100,000 unregistered vehicles, has failed to meet its target as only 10,000 vehicles have been registered with two days left for the deadline. The FBR announced on Friday that the federal government has drawn Rs 3 billion approximately to date through legitimising around 10,000 vehicles across the country.
Earlier, before the announcement of the scheme, customs officials had assessed registration of 100,000 vehicles with Rs 20 billion revenue based on the law enforcement agencies’ information that 2.3 million smuggled and non-duty paid vehicles were plying on the roads. The FBR’s statement further stated that it is reiterated again that the last date to avail this facility of the amnesty scheme will not be extended beyond March 31, 2013.

The government is still trying to increase these figures in the remaining two days as they announced that designated branches of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) across the country would remain open on Saturday (today) and Sunday to facilitate the owners of the smuggled vehicles.
On the other hand, the auto industry stakeholders have already refused this scheme terming it a mere promotion of cars smuggling. In this regard, All Pakistan Motor Dealers Association (APMDA) Chairman H M Shahzad said that it is impossible to achieve the set target by the end of this scheme’s date.
“The government was optimistic to earn high revenues in terms of taxes and duties through this scheme but the said indicators are totally against the cravings of the government,” he added.

Shahzad also criticised the statement of a customs official, who said low registration rate of smuggled vehicles was because of a substantial increase in the prices of smuggled vehicles. “What intention they had in mind before launching this scheme, to register already smuggled vehicles or to encourage people to buy new smuggled vehicles,” he questioned.
Shahzad said that such policy decisions, which are directly connected to the people should have been announced with the approval of the National Assembly and Senate like the age limit issue, which has been referred to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), he added.
Deducing the reason behind the failure of this scheme, he said that smugglers in Pakistan have no need of such amnesty schemes because they don’t have any fear of being caught or to be tried under the law. “Why owners of smuggled vehicles will waste their black money to pay duties and taxes when they already have been using such smuggled vehicles with ease and without any fear,” Shahzad reasoned.

These below-than-expectation figures show that people do not have any respect of law and they don’t want to be in a fix through documenting their illegal activities because it can create problems for them in he future, he added.


Courtesy: Daily Times

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