Afghanistan Ministry of Finance says it wants to bring new reforms in the country’s customhouses to prevent from corruption and increase domestic revenues.
According to officials of the finance ministry, implementation of the new reforms is aimed to increase domestic revenues.
The finance ministry’s officials say they are working to prevent from corruption in the country’s customhouses by bringing changes and reforms in this sector, adding that if such reforms or changes are not brought, they will lose 40 – 50 percent of the national incomes.
Acting minister of finance Mohammad Khalid Payenda, speaking to media considered the current situation of the country’s customhouses which are the main resources of revenues as shameful.
“It is a shame that no attention has been paid to the country’s ports and customhouses where billions in dollars of trade is existed.
The situation of mostly customhouses is not good particularly in their infrastructures as parking, road, scales and scanners, tariffs system and others,” acting minister of finance said.
According to acting minister of finance, no review has been made in human resources and infrastructures, tariffs and prices of goods in customhouses for years.
“Most sections have been intentionally kept weak,” Payenda said, stressing that in such situation, ground has been prepared for trafficking and losing national revenues via customhouses.
Previously, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani had said that 50 percent of national revenues was losing in customhouses, which is correct. During his visits and reviews from various customhouses, acting minister of finance said traders used to tell lie to custom officials about their goods; therefore, nearly $40 million custom taxes were losing.
Acting minister of finance further said that the tariffs system in the country’s customhouses has not been updated in accordance to the price of goods; therefore, traders were transiting the new good whose price was not in the system without any tariffs.
“If tariffs and the price of goods are not specified in the system, it is completely corruption. Previously, more than 200 – 300 people were working in a department of the pricing and issuing tariffs and none of them were economist.
Besides, the prices have not been updated,” Payenda added.
According to officials of the finance ministry, the situation will soon change as new steps are underway to be implemented in all customhouses. As part of the new reform system, scales and scanners will be digitalized within 18 months. It is determined that nearly $100 million will be invested by the World Bank on construction of new infrastructures of customhouses.