Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy and provinces have refused to pay wheat storage charges worth billions of rupees despite concerted efforts of Commerce Ministry and Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), sources close to Chairman TCP, Tahir Raza Naqvi, told Business Recorder. They said that Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on September 15, 2009 had decided that storage charges of wheat would be recovered from provinces and report in this regard be submitted to ECC. In compliance with the ECC”s decision, TCP billed the provincial governments of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Government of AJK, USC, Pak-Army, Pak-Navy and Utility Stores Corporation (USC) for recovery of storage charges amounting to a total of Rs 3.886 billion.
The sources said that TCP had been vigorously pursuing all the agencies for payment of storage charges but almost all the provincial governments and other organisations have not paid these charges since 2009. TCP requested that Finance Division may be asked to recover the storage charges at source from the provincial governments and other organisations and the same may be remitted to them. According to sources, Ministry of Commerce requested the Ministry of Finance for recovery of storage charges of wheat from all concerned government and agencies. The sources further stated that Ministry of Finance intimated that the Finance Division deals only with provinces and AJK and thus the matter of outstanding amount of recovery had been taken up with concerned provinces.
Regarding recovery from other government agencies (Pak Army and Pak-Navy), the Ministry of Finance advised that Commerce Ministry should take up the case directly with those entities. Accordingly, Ministry of Commerce took up the matter with Pak Army, Pak-Navy and USC. “TCP has once again informed the Commerce Ministry that the provincial governments and other organisations are not ready to pay the storage charges of wheat and the recovery is pending,” the sources added.
TCP has requested that the issue regarding the claim of dues be taken up with the ECC to direct the Finance Division to recover the storage charges at source from the provincial governments and other organisations and remit the same to TCP. “We have approached the ECC in order to implement its decision of 2009 and approve recovery of storage charges, amounting to a total of Rs 3.886 billion, from the provincial governments of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Balochistan, Gilgit/Baltistan, Government of AJK and other organisations (USC, Pak-Army and Pak-Navy) at source by Finance Division and pay the amount deducted from the receivables of the provinces, AJK and organisations to TCP,” the source said.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012