Amnesty scheme for cars declared illegal by IHC

Published: June 19, 2013

Federal Board of Revenue to issue bids soon. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court declared the previous government’s amnesty scheme for smuggled vehicles as illegal on Wednesday, Express News reported. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was ordered to impound 50, 000 vehicles and announce the bids for auctions.

The Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) issued on March 5 was declared to be void in the same ruling.

The scheme had sparked debate earlier this year, with FBR hoping to fetch Rs20 billion by getting smuggled vehicles registered while many spoke against the amnesty offer, believing it to be a political decision and an attempt to facilitate influential people in making money by legalising their illegal vehicles.

FBR spokesperson Asrar Raouf while talking to The Express Tribune, had maintained that the scheme was in the national interest and wouldn’t encourage smuggling of vehicles.

FBR had begun the amnesty scheme for registration of smuggled vehicles, gathering almost 3 billion till March this year.

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Reader Comments (35)

  • Jun 19, 2013 - 3:43PM

    not good for national interest i am with the judiciary remarks….

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  • Justice Delayed
    Jun 19, 2013 - 4:09PM

    Where was court sleeping when FBR was busy collecting Revenue?
    In the end poor Pakistani middle class will suffer and this decision just took 50000 people in one shot.

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  • mansor
    Jun 19, 2013 - 4:21PM

    If this is in national intrest then how would worthy court compansate victims of this scheme.

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  • Mansoor
    Jun 19, 2013 - 4:27PM

    Poor people have invested a lot of money for purchasing the vehicles, Customs Duty and Registeration fee already paid, than how this would become illegal?

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  • Jun 19, 2013 - 4:46PM

    ‘with FBR hoping to fetch Rs20 billion by getting smuggled vehicles registered … gathering almost 3 billion till March this year.’

    The malintent was obvious I guess. 3 billion is too paltry an amount for a a scehem to be given an OK to generate money.

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  • Zubair
    Jun 19, 2013 - 4:46PM

    What a country!!!!!!!!

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  • AliKuliKhan
    Jun 19, 2013 - 5:15PM

    In such cases the court should be realistic and take the line which is most beneficial for the country. After the court order these smuggled cars will still find their way to the roads without any income for the government.

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  • ساجداقبال
    Jun 19, 2013 - 6:32PM

    The best course of action would have been to force these 50K people pay the skipped taxes and duties rather than snatching and putting their vehicles on bidding.

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  • Tahir Ali
    Jun 19, 2013 - 6:41PM

    This is a very correct decision of the Hon court.
    Can someone explain how can 50,000 cars be smuggled without payment of Duty?
    Can some one explain in Afghanistan the cars are driven on Right Hand side and in Pakistan on Left hand side. Do the Custom Officers do not know the difference between Left hand and Right hand?

    In the meeting of TRCG in FBR with Finance Minister in Chair, FBR informed the Finance Minister that they will collect Rs 35 Billion as duties on account of these “non duty paid vehicles’
    And what did FBR collect as result of this amnesty: Rs 13 Billion and these included vehicles which were still in Japan and Dubai on which “duties” under Amnesty schemes was paid. so amnesty scheme caused a loss to Nation of Rs 22 Billion at-least

    Yes, refund the amnesty duty to those who paid (after the auction money is received),confiscate the vehicles and auction them. The nation will get over Rs 45 Billion

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  • Anserali Khan
    Jun 19, 2013 - 6:44PM

    Pakistan is becoming a global laughing stock: 50,000 vehicles enter the country without payment of duty!
    Where was Pakistan Custom Authorities?

    The decision of the court is correct and proper and in national interest.

    There has to be accountability;

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  • Engr. Sajjad
    Jun 19, 2013 - 7:22PM

    We don’t asked Government to legalize those cars, now the poor people of Pakistan has spent money over these cars by paying the fine, duty, registration fee etc. making it legalize and the court in an order is calling it illegal. Believe me that no one will be ready to invest money in this country if such decisions are to be taken by the Government and Judiciary. In my opinion Government and Judiciary is playing with the emotions of the people.

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  • Zeeshan Javaid
    Jun 19, 2013 - 9:12PM

    was high court sleeping before? was customs sleeping? was the government sleeping? people who have paid millions of rupees as custom, federal excise duty, income tax, and other duties…where should they go? people invest in government schemes to earn not to make loss. if this decision is not taken back no one is ever going to invest in any government scheme. no body will ever trust any government again. our government is a looter, our courts are a looter. no body will even like to live in this country where you are never secure.Recommend

  • Drikram
    Jun 19, 2013 - 9:19PM

    @AliKuliKhan:
    Rightly said sir

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  • Shaami
    Jun 19, 2013 - 9:42PM

    @Engr. Sajjad: Believe me neither poor nor lower Middle class bought any of these imported cars. It was Upper Middle class who are the main buyers and if they can spent more than a Million on Average to buy the car then they can also pay 2-3 lakhs ( .2-.3 ) million to validate their cars. So i appreciate the Government decision in this regard.

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  • Econ
    Jun 19, 2013 - 11:09PM

    I think this should be done to teach all these people a lesson that there is nothing like an ‘amnesty’ for tax evaders. Stop evading tax, there is nothing like a free lunch.

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  • Engr. Sajjad
    Jun 20, 2013 - 12:25AM

    @Shaami:
    I live in Peshawar and I witnessed the whole story, many middle class people went there to purchase the cars as there was a difference of 2 to 4 lac rupees when compare it to the cars available in the market. People invested in it as they think that it is the Government’s scheme and they will also be able to save some of the money. I talked to too many people today and most of them were telling me that now they even can’t trust Government of Pakistan and they will not invest in any sector as on one day it is legal and on the other day it becomes illegal.

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  • Bhatti
    Jun 20, 2013 - 12:26AM

    Where was The Islamabad High Court sleeping when FBR was collecting money of including poor peoples

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  • MAKhan
    Jun 20, 2013 - 12:47AM

    @Shaami:
    Who says that all the cars were purchased by upper class?
    The reality is that these vehicle were easily available in Peshawar, Swat, Dir, Chitral and all around the border of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan. People of lower middle class thought that they may have a good car in low cost and they were keen to purchase 10-20 years old model of vehicles. They paid a huge amount in shape of Custom Duty, Regulatory duty, Sales Tax, AIT, 15 police report. laboratory test report and in shape of Fine to the different accounts of Govt treasuries. Due to oscillating policies of Govt, the purchase rate of the these vehicles reached to more higher then the actual rate in market. The Owners also paid a lot for the registration. Now when all the amount went to the pocket of Govt, and the vehicles are declared legal by the various departments. I would request the Hon court to look into the case once more and allow all the vehicles for which all the paper work and physicle checking are completed.

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  • Kashif Khan
    Jun 20, 2013 - 1:56AM

    Can IHC Honorable Judge can explain NON-Custom paid vehicle running in FATA. Isn’t FATA Part of Pakistan. I think local crap manufacture Honda, Suzuki, and Toyota has played their cards. Lowest of low quality vehicle on such prices. Why don’t IHC review the condition of 3 years old vehicle to import. Don’t we deserve proper cars with all safety features like (air bags, abs breaks). I can smell local manufactures game.Recommend

  • H.A. Khan
    Jun 20, 2013 - 7:53AM

    The decision of the Islamabad High court is proper and correct. This country has suffered a lot due to incompetence and corruption in FBR Custom department. How did 50,000 smuggled cars enter Pakistan.Who is responsible?

    Auction these cars and when auction money comes return duty paid under amnesty to people. I think Government will make Rs 25 billion from auction

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  • danish
    Jun 20, 2013 - 11:24AM

    hw this decision is correct whr is Islamabad high court at that time when this scheme starts that’s why our country and our people(polititian) cannot do progress and go down day by day.@H.A. Khan:

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  • Farman Ullah
    Jun 20, 2013 - 12:00PM

    @danish: The Isd High court was blind by the time decision taken by FBR. Just trying to make a fool of their own people. Shame……….

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  • Afzal Chaudhry
    Jun 20, 2013 - 2:56PM

    The people who are saying that the court has taken the right decision are being selfish. We should all unite and stand against the High Courts decision as people who buyed the cars are like our brothers and tomorrow if we are in loss they will also support us. I know some poor people who have taken loans and invested in these cars to earn some amount, who will pay there money back any of you is willing to do that? The government made the amnesty scheme legal not the public so the government should take action against the orders of high court. People commenting here for the decision of the court are for sure not bearing any losses but what about the poors who have taken loans and invested in these cars. Please Think About Them and support them, because someday You may also be in the same situation and the people of your country who are your people can support you and not stand against you. It would be highly appreciated if the Islamabad High Court takes it’s decision back and save the poor public of Pakistan from such huge losses.

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  • Jamshid
    Jun 20, 2013 - 5:41PM

    I have got loan from the government and bought a car for my self which was legalized by somebody under amnesty scheme. I bought that because it was a legal car. Will the Government writ off my loan now?

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  • ali
    Jun 20, 2013 - 9:35PM

    The term Tax Amnesty is misleading as all taxes, duties fines were paid from the year of manufacturer till date. people should know what honor able justice got from local car manufacturers, the other solution is that govt should buy back all vehicles from t he ordinary people and return all their taxes, duties fines etc. as many who bought the vehicles were middle class.

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  • Amir Munir Advocate
    Jun 21, 2013 - 11:40AM

    Four question to honourable high court Islamabad
    1) Can a culprit penalize twicely because beneficially of amnesty scheme has already penalize by paying 1% fine to FBR?.
    2) Wheather this aspect of this scheme has considered by honuorable high court,that all vehicles in question were using in this country without paying any tax(custom + annual fee).
    3) When a district and session judge visited in jail and pardon the prisoners who have involved in minor offenses.Wheather that is not justify?.
    4) What is the hurdle in this decision when this case was filed,because high court has inherited powers to summon the respondents and decide this case with in two days.

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  • M.Wakeel
    Jun 21, 2013 - 9:43PM

    it will really create a trust gap between the common citizen & Governmental policies in future. moreover this notion will also gain certainty that Law is chasing only those segments in pakistan who are the law abiding. in recent amnesty scheme the legalization process was the main motivating factor otherwise millions of NCP vehicles playing in certain areas.

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  • Asad
    Jun 21, 2013 - 11:46PM

    I took loan 5 lac loan to buy the car and then paid 2.5 lac custom duty from my pocket on it. Tell me if govt takes my car from me which I bought on the notification of govt, then who will compensate me and how I will pay the loan. I will have the only option to sell my house for payment of loan. I m not a smuggler I m a citizen of pak who followed the rules, bought an ncp car paid duty on it and registered it now govt is taking it back from me without giving me the amount which I spent. it will really dishearten me and will create severe hatred in my heart. I m in severe tension since this decision has come as I m an ordinary citizen of pak and my whole life earnings are invested in this car.

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  • Not a Pakistani for sure
    Jun 22, 2013 - 2:11PM

    Being in Balochistan i get to see many interesting things, this is the least of my concern but this attitude of the government and courts justifies my stand. Everyone including the government, courts and politician use the so called laws to gain power and money. When some are left out of the profit they change and tweak a few laws when they come in power to make a profit. Now the new government seems left out of the profits so they will be happy for this oppertunity to make money. Taxes, funny i thought taxes should be paid by everyone but then how come only the poor and middle class pay these so called taxes and the rich don’t. I pay more tax then Nawaz Sharrif, funny but i go around to work in a bicycle, i dont think the prime minster even knows how to ride one. Food for thought, they still want me to be proud of being a Pakistani, why what for, for all my dead cousins, for all my missing cousins being torchered. I agree with most of you but atleast many people are seeing the truth now.

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  • Amnesty
    Jun 22, 2013 - 11:19PM

    Hi all. It’s big shame for government to do this withe people 1the start scheme like amensty 2013 when need money for aliction and when the finish the name it illegal so what’s happen withe people money 20bl I think Supreme Court have to look in this case to get people rights for them.

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  • Amnesty
    Jun 22, 2013 - 11:29PM

    Big sheem for government if the do this with people of Pakistan.

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  • Jun 24, 2013 - 12:29PM

    What is the Opinion and meaures of FBR on this issue and how they will protect a middle class citizen like me from such losses when I bought a car under the said scheme approved by the governamnet on loan from the bank? will the governamnet writeoff my loan? I cannot understand this situation when one government order for amnesty and other cancel their order. If you think none is stressed but in fact it is only us the ordinary Citizen. scheme like this brought happiness for poor citizens and a huge revenue for the country. Please help and mercy on us and solve this ongoing conflict. We hope for a peaceful and strong solution from your FBR and other governamnet authorities.

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  • Rooh ul Amin
    Jun 24, 2013 - 5:05PM

    @Justice Delayed:

    This is absolutely in justice with poor and middle class citizens, because this was an opportunity for them to purchase low cost vehicle for their family. Well off people have a lot of money and they can purchase high model vehicle from show room. In my opinion this is not justified. the state already announced the scheme, participated by FBR and banks received the money. Now the court should order to registered all smuggled vehicles, instead of ban on scheme. the middle class saved this money in years, and purchase cars for their family pleasure.

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  • COGS
    Jun 27, 2013 - 3:25PM

    I am not sure weather its true or not that today 27June. LHC said that Amnesty scheme is legal. :)

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  • mian
    Jul 24, 2013 - 3:18PM

    this is injustice with middle class. I purchased the car very costly form quetta i.e corolla x 2004 in 700000/- custom 525000/- registration amount 40000/- still the reg.book not received.tell me is it cheap in any respect?

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