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July 4, 2019

Customs duty collection up 12.9pc to Rs684.4 billion in FY19


July 4, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Customs duty collection in financial year 2018-19 stood at Rs684.4 billion as against Rs606 billion in 2017-18, registering growth of 12.9 percent, officials said on Wednesday.

The custom duty target out of total initial Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) target of Rs4,435 billion, was Rs735 billion. Customs collected Rs843 billion sales taxes at import stage, against a target of Rs800 billion set by the wing.

Collection of federal excise duty and withholding tax at import stage stood at Rs13.2 billion and Rs223 billion, respectively, surpassing previous year’s collections of Rs11 billion and Rs223 billion, respectively.

Through this improved performance, Pakistan Customs has collected 45.6 percent of FBR’s total revenues whereas in 2017-18 this ratio was a little under 44 percent.

Though Customs duty collection has witnessed more than 20 percent growth in last five years, this year the growth was little above 12 percent.

Deliberate fiscal policy measures taken by the government to compress imports were the major reason for this reduced growth. For example, in dollar terms, dutiable imports declined by more than 20 percent.

This factor alone ate up expected positive revenue impact of currency devaluation. This trend of declining imports was synonymous with decline in import quantity, computed in terms of TEUs, which reduced by 10 percent in the entire financial year.

Further, loss of custom duty, on account of non-tariff / tariff measures on specific items like vehicles, furnace oil, betel nuts, and other edibles etc, has been estimated to be above Rs35 billion. Regardless of all this, Customs has shown remarkable growth in collection of revenues.

This confirms the fact that despite enormous compression in imports, customs’ achievements proved better due to focused diligence resulting in improved effective rate on dutiable imports.

Notably this was not at the cost of holding rebates of exporters.

Export promotion was stepped up instead and duty draw back/rebates were given to ensure exporters liquidity to support domestic manufacturing too.

As against duty drawback of Rs14.5 billion in the previous financial year, more than Rs16.5 billion customs rebate were given in FY 2018-19, registering growth of above 13.5 percent (higher than growth in revenue collection).

Congruently, Enforcement efforts by Customs were greatly focused and brought in dividends. Currency seizures of Rs485 million were made in fiscal year 2018-19 compared to Rs157 million in fiscal year 2017-18 (massive increase of 208 percent).

Total anti-smuggling seizures stood at Rs31.7 billion as against Rs25.3 billion in FY18, with increase of above 22.5 percent. Values of seizures witnessed sharp rise for vehicles at 114 percent, electronic goods 43 percent, diesel 55 percent, gutka 150 percent, and food grains 200 percent.