LAHORE - The milled steel pipe manufacturers have submitted thousands of bogus export shipping bills to the Customs Department, making duty-free import under declaration of duty-free bonds for export to Afghanistan, evading tax of billions of rupees.  

Official sources in the FBR said that during verification, the Customs Turkham staff reported that no milled steel pipes were exported by the M/S Tube Mills Limited vide letter CST/verify/2012/1752 dated 11-08-2012.

They said that the Customs staff lodged an FIR No 28/2012 dated 13-8-2012 for the recovery of duty taxes payable at the time of import as the RP imported goods without duty and taxes showing export of the goods to Afghanistan.

They said that the RP actually sold out the goods i.e. MS pipes in the local market and sent bogus bills of entry to the Customs Department.

Earlier, the Model Customs Collectorate, Peshawar had also unearthed a fraud of billions of rupees tax evasion by around 19 steel pipe mills, which they are committing for the last 11 years.

Official sources said that around 19 steel pipe mills were granted manufacturing bond licence under SRO 450 (I)2001 by the Collector Customs, Lahore. The licences were granted from 2002 to onward, allowing them to import duty-free steel sheets (CRC/HRC), Zink Inget/Scrap fro re-export to abroad after manufacturing of their end products. But all the companies instead of exporting goods, sold the whole stock in local market and evaded billions of rupees in the form of duties and taxes.

As per documents available with The Nation, Model Customs Collectorate Peshawar, Collector Zulfiqar A Kazmi, in a letter written to Mrs Zeba Hai Azhar, Collector Customs (Appraisement), has sought action against manufacturers working under manufacturing bond regime. He said that collectorate has detected fake exports by the steel companies and lodged FIR against them and forwarded the case to Lahore office for further proceedings.

The fraudulent steel mills included M/s. Modem Pipe Mills (Pvt.) ltd, M/s. Karachi Tube Mills (Pvt.) Ltd, M/s. Ajmer Traders, M/s. Hajvery Traders, M/s. Mahboob Tube Mills, M/s. BBJ Pipe Industries (Pvt.) Ltd, M/s. Paramount Steel Traders, M/s. Fast Tube Mills (Pvt.) Ltd, M/s. MP Industries, M/s. City Steel Mills (Pvt) ltd, M/s. Abdul Haq Pipe Industries (Pvt.) Ltd, M/s. A.F. Steel Re-rolling Mills Lahore, M/s. A.N. Industries, M/s. Sufi Steel, M/s. Shalimar Steel,M/s. New Shalimar Steel, M/s. Mughal Steel Industries, M/s. Supreme Tube Mils and M/s. Bashir Pipe Mills.

When contacted, the Federal Revenue Alliance Union president Mian Abdul Qayyum said that the matter of tax evasion by the M/S Tube Mills Limited came in the notice of Chief Commissioner of Regional Tax Office I, Shafqat Mehmood, who has directed the concerned commissioner to initiate enquiry. He appreciated Shafqat Mehmood for initiating prompt action to stop tax evasions at a time when the Board has suffered massive revenue shortfall.