Cabinet approves one-time waiver to clear five vehicles of Overseas Pakistanis

ISLAMABAD: Federal Cabinet Tuesday approved a one-time waiver to clear vehicles of Overseas Pakistanis stuck at ports since January 2021.

Sources said that the Ministry of Commerce had requested the cabinet to give a one-time waiver for clearing five imported vehicles (Honda Civic 2017, Suzuki Jimny 2015, Nissan NV100 clipper 2015, Toyota Tundra 2015, Daihatsu Mira 2017) stuck up at ports for the last one year due to Covid-19 related restrictions.

The MoC informed the cabinet that the above-mentioned vehicles cannot be cleared because they have exceeded the permissible age limit by a few days (maximum 10 days) and that is caused mainly by delay in shipment and disruption in logistics resulting from Covid-19 related restrictions.

It is pertinent to mention that these vehicles could have been cleared had they been imported by December 31, 2020.

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The Commerce Ministry also informed the cabinet that the FBR supported their plea that voyages of cargo vessels have been badly affected due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation globally.

Therefore, in order to facilitate overseas Pakistanis whose vehicles have been stuck at ports, it is proposed that general relaxation of 10 days may be allowed up to January 10, 2021, for the clearance of imported vehicles that might have exceeded their permissible age-limited up to 10 days and are pending customs clearance.

A handout issued by the PM secretariat states that the cabinet approved a one-time waiver of delay due to Covid-19 in importing vehicles of Overseas Pakistanis on the recommendation of the MoC.

The five vehicles will be cleared by paying customs duty within ten days which have been parked at the port for the last one and a half years after the approval.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet on the recommendation of the Ministry of Finance has granted an exemption to First Women Bank Limited for six months’ audit of 2019-20 and an approved audit of 2021 for the sixth year by KPMG.

Sources said that the Privatization Commission has requested the Finance division to complete the pending audit of FWBL for the financial year 2018 by June 30, 2022, as the government has a plan to privatize the bank till December 31, 2022.

The Board of Directors of FWBL had also approved M/s KPMG as auditor to finalize the audit from 2018 to 2020 in a meeting held in November 2021.

Besides, the BoD had also requested SECP to grant exemptions in order to call the AGP for 2018 and an appointment of auditors for the subsequent year can be made.

Sources said that the SECP has recommended the bank to get approval from the cabinet if it wants to conduct an audit from KPMG as every public sector company in the financial sector shall change its external auditors every five years.

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Shahzad Paracha
The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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