Customs officials refuse to release newsprint despite court orders

ISLAMABAD: The newsprint will be released to Jang Group only after they pay all the duties, taxes and penalty which amount to approximately Rs 1.2 billion. This was stated by customs officials here on Monday when they were asked to comment on Jang Group case in the Supreme Court regarding the release of the newsprint.

According to the customs officials, the group has not paid the said duties and an order has been issued by the customs authorities raising the liability of approximately Rs 600 million as demand for taxes and duty in respect of the newsprint imported by the group during the past few years. The Jang Group is liable to pay the said amount as it mis-declared the circulation figures, the officials said, adding, this information was provided by the Jang Group to the Audit Bureau of Circulation to obtain customs clearance of newsprint at concessionary rate of duty." "An equal amount of penalty of about Rs. 600 million has also been imposed upon the Jang Group for this offence. Thus a total liability of Rs 1,200 million has been established against them under Section 202 of the Customs Act," officials said. They said that according to the provision of customs law, this amount could be recovered by the Customs, Central Excise and Sales Tax authorities, either by detaining their imported goods or by detecting any amount due to them.

The officials pointed out to the Supreme Court Order which stated: "In the circumstances, 1,094 reels of newsprint shall be released provided the bills of entry have been cleared out of charge and all the duties, charges and dues in respect thereof have already been paid. This is subject to the notice to the respondents. Since the Jang Group has not cleared all the dues, the newsprint cannot be released," the officials maintained.

The News International Pakistan