LAHORE: Under invoicing, which is presently hampering the business activities in the country, cannot be controlled until smuggling is checked at all levels-from the country borders to the retail levels.

This was stated by the participants of the meeting while talking to the Customs officials held at LCCI today.

Collect or Customs (Preventive) Zulfiqar Younas said that concerned issues would be resolved immediately. He said that the department wants to work hand in hand with the business community. Director Intelligence, Customs Department Lahore Saood Imran invited the businessmen to give their suggestions to overcome the issue of smuggling. 

LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed said that smuggling, under invoicing, SRO culture, raids at business premises and undue checking of goods are hampering the activities of business sector and adding to the miseries of business community. “Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should devise a mechanism in consultation with the business community to overcome these issues within the shortest possible time. Measures like raids on business premises are creating troubles for the business community,” he said.

LCCI former vice president Kashif Anwar said that traders don't want to do under invoicing but they are forced to do that to compete with the smuggled goods. “The traders want to pay duties but how they can compete with smuggled goods. Why to pay taxes when goods are delivered at your door steps by forwarders. Under valued or miss-declared goods do not increase the profit margin of a trader. Rather many traders are importing the same product at the same time so that they could compete with each other for market share,” he was of the view.

Kashif said that under invoicing will not stop until smuggling is stopped. “Why not stop the smuggled goods at border of the country, province and cities. Why the raids are made in the markets.

“When the rates in international markets increase, the valuation is done at higher rate but when the price reduces in international market the customs authorities consider the highest import rate in the previous three months.

“Government would have to weed out the menace of smuggling and under-invoicing before implementing any tax avoidance measures. It is very unfortunate that instead of widening tax base and bringing the untaxed sectors into the tax net, steps are being taken to squeeze the existing tax payers,” Kashif said.

The LCCI Vice former President urged the Federal Board of Revenue to resolve the issue of WeBoc system as it is not working properly and failed to give the desired results.