Kandahar customs revenue up by 21pc
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Despite negative impacts on the national economy in the wake of a prolonged electoral process, the provincial customs department’s revenue increased by 21 percent in southern Kandahar province this fiscal year, an official said on Saturday.
Kandahar Customs Department head Syed Jamal Hashmi told Pajhwok Afghan News his department experienced a slight drop in its revenue during the months of April and May following the elections but the income again increased in June-July.
He linked the increase in revenue to the resolution of some problems earlier faced by Afghan traders in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi, the increasingly improving tax collection system and the installation of modern facilities at customs offices.
Hashmi said revenue collected over the past six months showed a 21 percent increase this financial year compared with the corresponding period last year.
He recalled in 2013 they had been set two billion and 500 million afghanis target but they collected two billion and 22 million afghanis, which surpassed the revenue collected in 2012.
For 2014, he said, his department had been set the target of two billion and 700 million afs. Half year’s collection showed the revenue had increased, he said, hoping to achieve the target by the end of the ongoing fiscal.
Hashmi said most Afghan traders imported their commercial goods through Karachi port despite problems being created for them by Pakistani officials.
Incidents of violence often occurred on the road from Karachi to Kandahar, affecting the revenue of Kandahar’s customs department, he said.
He said when Afghan traders faced with problems at the Karachi port, they opted to ship their goods through Islam Qala and Abbas ports, which cost them more.
However, he said problems being faced by Afghan traders at Karachi port had been resolved to some extent, resulting in increased revenue for the Kandahar Customs Department despite a 10 percent decline in imports through Karachi port.
Hashmi said Afghan traders imported food items, medicine, garments and other essential commodities from China, Malaysia, Indonesia and other several countries through Karachi port.
He said his department had made available more facilities for traders and vehicles carrying commercial goods were cleared in a short span of time.
He said tax evasion incidents had considerably decreased in Kandahar following introduction of the automated system for customs data (ASYCUDA).
To prevent tax evasion attempts, he said, they had established check points on the Kandahar-Spin Bolak highway, on the Kabul-Kandahar highway and in Arghistan district.
Hashmi also revealed that construction work on the new building for the customs office at the Spin Boldak border crossing had been completed. He said the building, which would help increase revenue, would be inaugurated soon.
The said facility, which has all latest equipment installed, is constructed over 31 acres of land at a cost of $25 million provided by the US and Canada.
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