12:00 AM, March 12, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 12, 2008

Uncertainty looms on Ctg customs house automation

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Abdullah al Mahmud, Ctg

Uncertainty looms on the implementation of a project to automate the activities of Chittagong Customs House.
Sources in the customs house said the project is now caught in bureaucratic tangle, although the authorities in principle agreed to implement the project a month ago.
The existing system that is partially automated can hardly check irregularities at the Chittagong Customs House, the sources said.
Irregularities and malpractice cause a huge amount of revenue loss to the government.
According to the sources, full automation of the taxation system and consequent transparent, speedy, and user-friendly procedures could help Chittagong Customs House check evasion of at least Tk 350 crore in revenue a year.
The proposal to automate fully the activities of the customs house was to be placed before the finance adviser on Sunday for his approval.
But the proposal could not be put forward for approval on the day due to reported unwillingness of officials concerned, said the sources.
The process for automation system came to an apparent halt reportedly due to non-cooperation by vested interest groups at Chittagong Customs House and National Board of Revenue, alleged the sources.

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