Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has invited independent experts to evaluate the worth of the Pakistan Automated Container Clearing System (PaCCS), according to company official.
The move followed a new round of talks between developers of the software, Kuwait-based logistics firm Agility, and FBR. FBR Chairman Salman Siddiqui held talks with Agility officials in Kuwait, where the board reiterated its intention to purchase the software used to clear containerised cargo at the Karachi International Container Terminal, Pakistan International Container Terminal and Quaid-e-Azam International Container Terminal.
The decision appeared to have put an end to months of speculation over the software’s fate. Recently, Agility had threatened to shut down the software by March 31 after negotiations with FBR purchase had stalled.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Siddiqui said they offered Agility to continue using the software in a public-private partnership with FBR; however, given the previous record of non-payment, Agility officials were unwilling to continue the relationship in that form. He added that both sides agreed FBR would buy the software from the logistics company, agreeing that the value of the software should be determined by third-party evaluators. FBR has invited PaCCS users to help determine the price of the software.
The initial cost of implementation for PaCCS was $210,000, of which $70,000 has already been paid to Agility. However, Agility officials contend that since 2005, the company had incurred further costs to maintain and operate PaCCS. Earlier, the logistics company had also filed a request for arbitration over the issue of contention with a French court. A company official has confirmed that this request has not yet been withdrawn by Agility.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2011.