CHATTOGRAM, Jan 26: Businesses have demanded quicker and smoother delivery of imported cargo without harassment during customs valuation and revenue collection to facilitate higher production in factories.
At the same time, they urged the Customs authority to be vigilant against attempts to smuggle goods by corrupt businesses while taking delivery of their import cargo.
The views were expressed at a seminar, organised on Saturday at the Chittagong Custom House auditorium in observance of the International Customs Day 2019 with Commissioner of Customs Dr AKM Nuruzzaman in the chair.
MA Latif, MP, attended the seminar as the chief guest while Member (Customs and Vat admin) of the National Board of Revenue Prakash Dewan was present as the special guest.
Commissioner of Income Tax Zone-1 Chattogram Md Motaher Hossain, Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) President Mahbubul Alam and Chittagong Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CMCCI) President Khalilur Rahman were also present and spoke.
MA Latif said Customs officials and employees must ensure that no dishonest trader can use the port and customs in their evil design of smuggling contraband items, evading revenue and taking delivery of consignments in connivance with corrupt officials.
The Customs men must also sincerely and honestly see that any importer or exporter doing business honestly must not face any kind of harassment at the Customs House, he said.
The import documents must be released at the shortest possible time because any delay may affect their competiveness, he cautioned.
"There are some dishonest officers and employees and there are some dishonest businesses as well. There are many honest businesspeople and employees. So we cannot treat them all alike. Let us treat them on their activities. Let us look at the matter positively," said the lawmaker.
"Bangladeshi businesses are competing with countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, China and Korea. So we must do business more speedily so that the importers and exporters can lower the cost of doing business to obtain capacity to compete with others," he added.
Prakash Dewan said Chittagong Custom House is the leading revenue earner in the country.
It is not only earning revenue but also looking after security of the businesses and national interest, he added.
Income Tax Commissioner Motaher Hossain said the major challenge is revenue mobilisation.
"The businesses must declare their import consignment honestly and ensure payment of dues to the government because it will help the country achieve the SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) as we have successfully achieved our MDG (Millennium Development Goal)," he stated.
CCCI President Mahbubul Alam urged the Chittagong Customs authority to introduce one stop service at the earliest for trade facilitation.
He said all 12 gates of the port must be equipped with scanning facilities to ensure quick disposal of cargo so that the businesses don't need to count demurrage for overstay of the vessels.
CMCCI President Khalilur Rahman has urged the authorities to make alternative arrangements in the Customs automation as the machinery often goes inoperative causing undue delay in releasing import cargo.
Meanwhile, BSS reports form Rajshahi, Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate organised a discussion at Rajshahi Medical College Auditorium in the city to mark the international customs day. "SMART borders for seamless Trade, Travel and Transport" was the main theme of the discussion.
Apeakers at the post-rally discussion unanimously underscored the need for boosting revenue earnings for
country's overall development.
They said proper functioning of the country's business sector and other trade-related activities are the precondition to uplift the economic growth.
There is no alternative to expand trade and business to a greater extent taking the country forward on the way to development, they added.
Another BSS report from Rangpur adds: Banglabandha Land Customs Station (LCS) also organised a rally and a discussion at the port premises in Tentulia upazila of Panchagarh in observance of the day.
Officials and employees of LCS, Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents, labourers, civil society members and local elite participated in the rally that paraded different streets.
With Revenue Officer Banglabandha LCS Md. Mizanul Haque in the chair, its Deputy Commissioner Hafizul Islam addressed the discussion as the chief guest.
President of Panchagarh Chamber of Commerce and Industry Abdul Hannan Sheikh, President of Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents' Association Rezaul Karim Reza and Banglabandha union Chairman Kudrat-e-Khuda Milan addressed as the special guests.
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