EEF facility for overseas Pakistan in offing

PM Imran orders relaxing import conditions for countrymen abroad

Irshad Ansari September 22, 2019
Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered examining the possibility of introducing electronic encashment forms (EEF) which will reduce the duration required to confirm the remittances of overseas Pakistanis for the import of vehicles and other items under the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) baggage schemes.

The commerce ministry has also been directed to review the recommendation to relax the conditions for Pakistanis abroad on paying duties and taxes from foreign currency accounts for the import of vehicles and other items under the FBR baggage schemes. The PM Office has sent a letter to the FBR and the commerce ministry, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune.

The PM Office has directed the FBR and commerce ministry to examine the practical implementation of the recommendations given for addressing the difficulties faced by overseas Pakistanis in obtaining clearance for special imports under the baggage schemes while sending remittances for the payment of duties and taxes.

The FBR and the commerce ministry have been giving two weeks to work on the recommendations and inform the PM Office. The letter was written on September 11 and the FBR and the commerce ministry have confirmed that they have received it. They said the recommendations were being examined and the PM Office will be informed about the progress next week.

Sources said overseas Pakistanis had written a letter to the PM Office, which was forwarded to the FBR. According to the that letter, overseas Pakistanis are facing difficulties in sending back remittances and obtaining clearance for the import of cars and other items because of the rupee devaluation and changes in duties and taxes.

To address these problems, it was recommended that custom duties to the tune of Rs200,000 be allowed to be paid in rupees instead of dollars. It was recommended that electronic import forms and electronic encashment forms be introduced.

The overseas Pakistanis maintained that they were being treated unfairly after the implementation of the Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) 52(I)/2019 under which they had to pay custom duties in dollars and through their own bank accounts.

They added that the devaluation of rupees and the duty tax structure is creating problems for them.


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