ISLAMABAD - The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Tuesday said that it would take action against all unregistered vehicles in the country after the expiry of the amnesty scheme on 31st March 2013.

The government would not extend the amnesty scheme notified by it, for legitimising the smuggled and non-duty paid vehicles upon payment of duty and taxes. Those seeking to avail of this facility of the amnesty scheme must therefore present their smuggled/non-duty paid vehicles to Customs, latest by 31st March, 2013, said FBR on Tuesday.

The FBR has clarified that it is determined to redouble its drive against such vehicles after the expiry of the amnesty scheme on 31st March 2013. Instructions have been issued to the Customs field formations to impound such vehicles, besides lodging FIRs against the persons found in the ownership or possession of these vehicles, provided they are not got legitimized under the amnesty scheme, up to 31st March, 2013.

It is worth mentioning here that Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has introduced amnesty scheme for vehicles, which has been brought into the country without payment of customs duty, to legalize their smuggled vehicle by March 31 2013 by paying nominal tax/duty. The scheme is expected to generate revenue of Rs12-15 billion and will give an opportunity to registered around 2.3 million vehicles, which are already on roads.

However, Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) and All Pakistan Motor Dealers Association (APMDA) showed concerns over the said amnesty scheme, as they said this scheme would lead to encouraging unlawful activities in the country. The Competition Commission of Pakistan in its policy note asked the government to immediately withdraw the tax amnesty scheme for smuggled vehicles, terming the policy a violation of competition laws besides becoming a source of expansion of grey market in the country.

All Pakistan Motor Dealers Association (APMDA) Chairman H M Shahzad said the amnesty scheme would discourage legal car imports that bring revenue for the country. The amnesty scheme to allow owners of non-customs paid vehicles to legalize their smuggled cars by March 31 after paying nominal duty and taxes will promote unlawful activities in the country. “If the government encourages car smuggling like this, we should also leave our business and start smuggling vehicles from Afghanistan,” he said.