LAHORE - Inefficiencies and corruption at national ports are inflicting billions of rupees of losses to national exchequer as many importers of various goods are exploiting loopholes in import policy to save themselves some money. According to sources, a wide range of goods ranging from finished goods to spare parts and electronic items to consumables are being imported from Western and East Asian countries and many of these importers are cleverly playing with the vulnerable policies in place for the imports. They said that the importers involved in misdeclaration are selling their imported goods at 50-60 percent lesser rates than the goods made locally or being imported through proper channels and that mafia is rapidly spreading its business throughout the country as many traders knowingly and unknowingly have started doing business with them to mint more profits. An expert on the subject said that a parallel alternative economy has taken roots in Pakistan and a major share of the revenue to be collected by the government is being lost. It is a big question mark on the credibility of law enforcement & relevant authorities but no permanent action has been taken. He said that while investigating a few cases regarding auto parts import, he found out that the importers are very intelligently cheating the authorities to misdeclare few parts in other categories saving applicable duties. For example, he said, that shock absorbers are allowed to be imported in ITP 8010 category paying 50 percent punitive duty as the part is being made locally but some importers are importing it under ITP 8090 paying only 35 percent duty. This is possible only if the relevant staff is incompetent and do not know the rules or they are deliberately clearing these goods under wrong category for money, he added. Almost all types of auto spare parts ranging from critical engine and transmission parts such as rings, pistons, gas kits, maintenance parts like oil filter, air filter are being imported through sea in astonishing quantities and it must be hard for local vendors of such parts to survive in market, he added. Rapidly increasing smuggling of goods and misdeclaration is severely affecting the business of local manufacturers besides causing losses of billions of rupees to government and the government should put strict checking mechanism on such practices. This would not only help the government to increase the revenue generation but would also enable legal businesses to expand generating more revenues and employment opportunities for the countrymen.