Overseas Pakistanis face problems in duty payments

Issue arises due to rupee movement, change in duty and tax structure

Irshad Ansari August 11, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The fluctuating value of the rupee and changes in duties and taxes have posed serious problems to overseas Pakistanis in sending remittances back home and receiving clearance for vehicles and other goods.

In order to put an end to the trouble faced by the overseas Pakistanis, a proposal has been floated for payment of the difference of Rs100,000 to Rs200,000 in customs duty in Pakistani rupees instead of dollars. Apart from this, the introduction of Electronic Import Form and Electronic Encashment Form is also being considered for the overseas Pakistanis.

However, the final decision will be taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan keeping in view a report to be received from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). In an attempt to tackle the problems being faced by the overseas Pakistanis due to the volatile exchange rate, the PM Office has sought a report from the FBR.

According to documents available with The Express Tribune, the PM Office has penned a letter to the FBR demanding recommendations to eliminate the problems being faced by the overseas Pakistanis while sending remittances and paying duties on goods sent by them.

The letter highlighted that overseas Pakistanis had a vital role to play in the progress of the country and they have actively participated in pushing Pakistan out of the crisis during tough times in the past.

When contacted, the FBR authorities said the letter, received from the PM Office, was being reviewed and soon a report having detailed recommendations would be sent to the PM Office.

According to SRO 52(I)/2019, the overseas Pakistanis are sending dues of customs duty from their bank accounts but fluctuations in the currency rate and change in the duty and tax structure have caused problems for them.

Because of these issues, the customs duty sent by them does not match with the Customs statistics. As a result, the overseas Pakistanis are asked to cover the difference in customs duty by sending the remaining amount via bank accounts.

FBR authorities have suggested that the overseas Pakistanis should be allowed to send the duty difference of Rs100,000 to Rs200,000 in Pakistani rupees instead of dollars.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2019.

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