FAISALABAD: The Customs officials have begun raids at the factories importing the duty-free items to check their stocks.

The entrepreneurs said the raids were an attempt to harass the businessmen and urged the government to refrain from withdrawing zero-rated facility for the textile sector.

On Tuesday, a team raided a factory on Judge Wala Road and examined the record.

Customs Collector Mubashar Baig, however, said there was no raid. “We do random stocktaking of export-oriented units, manufacturing bonds or the DTRE who avail themselves of the facility of exemptions from duties and taxes,” he said.

“We conducted stocktaking of three such units last month and there was no such issue whatsoever. I even directed my DC to talk to management and she reported that the management fully cooperated and there was no issue. It was checked whether the unit had imported certain raw materials without duty and did not export the same after manufacturing during the stipulated period.

“If there is no discrepancy, no action is taken and if stock is found short, the unit is asked to explain,” he said. He said the unit owner was asked to deposit duty/ taxes on short stock. No record or anything was taken into custody during checking of Judge Wala Road factory. He said this exercise was being done just to safeguard the facility the government provides to export-oriented units.

Industrialists said the raids had been brought into the notice of FBR chairman Shabbar Zaidi who claimed that no officer had been asked to conduct such raids.

Meanwhile, another Customs Collectorate team raided a godown on Circular Road and recovered 46 tons of smuggled cloth worth Rs50 million, he added.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2019