FBR Denies Any Amnesty Scheme for NCP Vehicles

A planned amnesty scheme for non-customs paid (NCP) vehicles has been ruled out by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which comes as dealers have been noticeably raising prices in a variety of categories over the past several weeks.

FBR spokesperson Afaq Ahmed Qureshi while speaking to Dawn said that the very notion of such a scheme is out of question while Pakistan is adhering to an IMF program. According to Qureshi:

“There is no such proposal under discussion or consideration in FBR. The social media is flooded with false information that FBR is contemplating an amnesty scheme for vehicles. These are nothing but baseless rumors.”

Strict action has been taken by the government against illegal money traders, smugglers, and holders of both domestic and foreign currency. As a result, the Pakistani rupee’s value relative to the US dollar has decreased to about Rs277. It had previously climbed to a record high of Rs335 in early September 2023.

Related: Government Fails to Curb Vehicle Smuggling

According to a tax official, a coordinated effort is underway, particularly from dealers who have heavily invested in NCP vehicles in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Gilgit-Baltistan, advocating for the amnesty scheme.

A similar amnesty scheme for such automobiles was offered back in 2010. The scheme, however, was plagued with corruption and legal issues, and it was unable to significantly curb the flow of illegally imported vehicles or bring in revenue for the FBR.

Senior customs officers from the operations side, who wished to remain anonymous, stated that no amnesty program to regularize NCP vehicles is presently being considered. However, according to sources, despite resistance from the tax department, security forces are reportedly pushing hard to consider a scheme for the regularization of NCP vehicles.

Related: Minister Admits Security Personnel Are Involved in Smuggling

According to H. M. Shahzad, chairman of the All Pakistan Motor Dealers Association, the government needs to pursue those who aid in the trafficking of vehicles from Afghanistan. He emphasized that these five to ten-year-old vehicles are entering through the Afghan port of Bandar Abbas. Instead of taking action against smugglers, he criticized the government for continuously contemplating schemes that primarily serve to legalize unreported income, undermining the national revenue collection.

According to Mr. Shahzad, local manufacturers have likewise raised their prices by unheard-of amounts. He claimed that the government’s policies surrounding the auto industry are in contradiction.

The exemption for NCP vehicles in the merged districts of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (Pata), Balochistan, and GB is set to conclude on June 30, 2024. Initially, the exemption was due to lapse on June 30, but it was granted a one-year extension by the PDM government.

Source: Dawn

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