Development of Sost dry port to improve collectorate’s performance: Assistant Collector Akbar Jan
By: Tariq Derya
ISLAMABAD: The main problem at Gilgit Baltistan (GB) is that all the posted staff is above 50 years of age. The transporters charge inflated fares for travelling between Ürümqi (China) and Sost. The Customs staff posted at the Sost border is facing hurdles during winter season due to inefficient facilities.
These views were expressed by Assistant Collector Muhammad Akbar Jan during an exclusive interview with Customs Today. Akbar Jan said that development work has been started at GB. He said that after completion of the development of the Sost dry port and installation of modern equipment, the collectorate’s performance will become double.
Answering a question regarding visit of Chief Collector (North), Akbar said that Chief Collector Sarwat Tahira Habib visited GB during the month of July, her visit was very fruitful regarding development of Collectorate, She held meetings with the chief minister of GB and during that meeting, she succeeded to get land to build to build a modern collectorate and housing premises for customs staff working at Gilgit Baltistan.
Akbar Jan served as Assistant Collector Appeasement West for three and half years, He was posted GB with same designation, by profession Akbar Jan is an electrical engineer and passed his BSc engineering degree from University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Peshawar.
When asked about any message for new Custom officers he replied that all the new officers of Custom department must do their service with honesty, integrity and ability.
He said that Custom staff at GB are facing few hurdles relating to imports and exports as they have no proper access to internet , WeBOC facility to check the consignments. He said WeBOC to be initiated once optical fiber comes to Sost.
Akbar Jan said that presently 2MB satellite connection is operating here but it is not as efficient as we desire to fulfill the needs of GB Customs station, there are no proper facilities to look into details of import items.
He said that the transporters at GB are charging huge fares between Urumchi (China) to Sost by the business community which is big hurdle for importers and exporters, if the higher authorities made some check on transporters the business activity can flourish.
Akbar said that lack of facilities for business community are big issue for businessmen working at GB dry port, there are just 60 ton weighbridge facility available, no forensic laboratory and no proper sheds for importers and exporters consignments.
He said that Customs performance was satisfactory during the first month of current financial year 2016-17, the collectorate collected Rs203.495 million in shape of customs duty, redemption fine, and sales tax including other taxes.
He said that Collectorate daily performance was also satisfactory during last month of July, the Collectorate earned revenue of Rs12.783 million in just one day on 29th of July 2016.
He said that on 29th July 2016 the Collectorate collected total customs duty of Rs6.812 million in one day, it collected said revenue in shape of redemption fine tax Rs 0.030 million, sales tax Rs3.894 million, additional sales tax Rs0.584 million.
He said that FBR still did not set any revenue target for financial year 2016-17 for GB, the target will be given in next few days and we hope that as compared to last financial year the GB will excel its set revenue target of CD, ST, redemption fine and FED.
The article was originally posted on Custom Today on August 22, 2016