PSI to continue under revised policy guideline
The government in its budget yesterday proposed to continue receiving services from the pre-shipment inspection (PSI) agencies for a limited period through fresh appointment of agencies under a revised policy guideline.
This inspection system will be withdrawn as soon as the automated inspection system is put in place and the appointment of officers is complete.
"The activities of the PSI agencies are being monitored very closely and stern actions are being taken, including termination of contract, whenever any case of misconduct is detected. These measures shall continue as there are widespread allegations of various malpractices of the PSI agencies and the government is fully aware of them," Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam said in his budget speech.
Currently mandatory pre-shipment inspection system is operational on most of the importable items, he said adding that the Customs Department has inadequacy both in terms of infrastructural and human resources capacity, including acute shortage of officers and staff.
Against this backdrop, lifting of PSI system may cause complications in the customs assessment process, he added.
The finance adviser explained that PSI system was introduced with a view to ensuring faster clearance of imported cargo and preventing revenue pilferage and it is not a permanent arrangement.
The tenure of the contract of service with the existing PSI agencies will come to an end on August 31, 2008.