Imports of six smuggling-prone goods surge 55pc

Published February 7, 2021
Formal imports of six smugg­­ling-prone commodities  — green tea, black tea, tyres, textile products, ­electronic goods and palm oil  — increased by over 55.51 per cent, the latest data showed. — File photo
Formal imports of six smugg­­ling-prone commodities — green tea, black tea, tyres, textile products, ­electronic goods and palm oil — increased by over 55.51 per cent, the latest data showed. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The quantum of smuggled goods into the country decreased during the first seven months of 2020-21 from a year ago as data reported by the Pakistan Customs showed a higher collection of duties and taxes.

Formal imports of six smugg­­ling-prone commodities — green tea, black tea, tyres, textile products, ­electronic goods and palm oil — increased by over 55.51 per cent, the latest data showed.

In Pakistan, illegal trade is quantified through fluctuations in imports of items under the Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) and an increasing trend in imports of those items in the comparable period.

Official data compiled by the Pakistan Customs showed that the import value of the six commodities jumped 55.51pc to Rs659.930 billion during July-January FY21 from Rs424.354bn last year.

Duty collection grew 40.19pc to Rs194.813bn in 7MFY21

The duty and taxes collection from these commodities also grew 40.19pc to Rs194.813bn in 7MFY21 from Rs138.956bn last year.

Also, the import value of these products under the ATT declined 51.15pc to Rs146.160bn during the period under review from Rs299.208bn last year.

According to customs, all this has happened due to the employment of an effective and pragmatic strategy to curb the menace of smuggling. Moreover, it is the outcome of strict enforcement and border management in coordination with law enforcement agencies.

The manufacturing data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed production of most products except motor tyres failed to record positive growth indicating that the demand is being met through imports. Meanwhile, data on smuggling of petroleum products and auto parts is not available.

The import value of tyres reached Rs38.470bn in the 7MFY21 from Rs9.681bn over the last year, reflecting an increase of 297.37pc. In-transit import of tyres fell by 67.14pc to Rs12.706bn during the period under review as against Rs38.668bn over last year.

However, the formal imports of tea during the period under review also grew 27.62pc to Rs52.714bn as against Rs41.303bn last year. Under ATT, import of tea dipped by 71.32pc to Rs2.60bn as against Rs9.067bn.

The import of green tea under ATT dropped by 25.92pc in 7MFY21 to Rs8.264bn as against Rs11.156bn last year. The regular imports of green tea grew 29.49pc to Rs2.134bn as against Rs1.648bn over the last year.

However, the import of textile products through regular channels increased by 63.63pc to Rs333.734bn as against Rs203.954bn over the last year. Subsequently, imports of textile products under the ATT dropped by 46.975pc to Rs102.654bn as against Rs193.596bn over the last year.

The imports of electronic goods under the ATT declined by 47.11pc to Rs3.103bn in 7MFY21 as against Rs5.868bn over the last year. The regular imports of electronic goods posted growth of 12.32pc to Rs33.889bn as against Rs30.170bn over the last year.

Moreover, import of palm oil on a regular channel soared 44.61pc to Rs198.989bn during the period under review as against Rs137.598bn last year. The import of palm oil under Afghan transit declined by 58.79pc to Rs16.832bn as against Rs40.853bn over the corresponding period of last year.

As a result of all these measures, the dutiable imports value posted growth of 11.78pc in January to Rs443.935bn as against Rs397.146bn over the same month last year. It clearly shows that dutiable import value experienced positive growth in January and December 2020.

However, the value of dutiable imports reached Rs2.784 trillion during 7MFY21 as against Rs2.764trn in the corresponding period last year.

It is because of this growth in dutiable imports that collection reached Rs64bn in January as against Rs53bn over the last year, reflecting an increase of 11pc. This positive growth rate in the collection of customs duty was achieved despite unprecedented positive growth in duty-free imports.

Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Covid funds controversy
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Covid funds controversy

A COMPREHENSIVE and detailed report by the auditor general of Pakistan on the utilisation of Covid-19 funds by the...
01 Dec 2021

Sindh LG law

THE Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, introduced by the PPP to roll back the Musharraf-era local bodies system in ...
Monster of circular debt
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Monster of circular debt

The crisis facing the energy sector cannot be tackled sustainably without taming the many elephants in the room.
New Covid danger
30 Nov 2021

New Covid danger

The government’s messaging around the coronavirus and the potential threat of Omicron must be reactivated.
Updated 30 Nov 2021

Saudi conditions

DECADES of fiscal profligacy have trapped the country in a situation where it not only has to borrow more money to...
30 Nov 2021

Mental health concerns

THE economic and psychological effects of Covid-19, combined with the issues of joblessness and inflation, have had ...