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International Customs Day: Use the customs stations to ensure that no one can import any goods harmful to the country

International Customs Day: Use the customs stations to ensure that no one can import any goods harmful to the country

Dr. Muhammad Mahtab Hossain Mazed

Today Thursday is International Customs Day 2023. The day will be observed through various programs in 179 countries that are members of the World Customs Organization, including Bangladesh. Since 1983, the day has been celebrated in different countries of the world at the call of the International Customs Cooperation Council.

Bangladesh has been celebrating the day since 1993 as a member of the International Customs Cooperation CouncilThe International Customs Cooperation Council was formed according to an international convention of 1950.

This council has been working since 1953. On January 26, 1953, the council started its activities, so this day was declared as the International Customs DayThe task of the International Customs Council is to balance and harmonize the world customs system in order to solve the disarray created in international trade as a result of various irregularities, disparities and inconsistencies in national trade practices and policies.

Bangladesh is a signatory to the WTO Agreement on Prices. In 1947, steps were taken towards an intergovernmental tariff coordination. In 1952, the Customs Co. Operations Council was formally established. The first Council session was held in Brussels on 26 January 1953. In 1994, the organization was named World Customs Organization. International Customs Day is celebrated every year on this day in commemoration of the first session of this organization held in 1953.

The customs system of our country has not been modernized. Import and export have not been simplified with time. In this context, the importance of celebrating International Customs Day in Bangladesh is immenseIn the first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal year 2022-23, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has collected a total revenue of Tk 1 lakh 15 thousand 620 crore 77 lakh from income tax, local level value added tax (MUSC) and import-export duty, which is 15.06 percent more than the same period of the previous fiscal year.

In the first five months of the last fiscal year, the amount of revenue was Tk 1 lakh 2 thousand 264 crore 82 lakhAccording to NBR sources, the calculation of sector-wise revenue income is 38 thousand 60 crore taka from import and export duty sector, 44 thousand 183 crore 83 lakh taka from local level tax and 33 thousand 376 crore 94 lakh taka from income tax and travel tax sector. However, the revenue is slightly behind the target at this time. The revenue target for five months was Tk 1 lakh 25 thousand 334 crore.

According to NBR data, the amount of revenue from import-export duties in the first five months of the last fiscal year 2021-22 was Tk 33 thousand 8196 crore, which has increased to Tk 38 thousand 60 crore in the same period of the current fiscal year.

In this case, the growth is 12.54 percent. Income tax collection has increased by 9.74 percent during the period under discussion. In the five months of last fiscal year, the revenue from this sector was 30 thousand 415 crore 12 lakh taka, this time it has increased to 33 thousand 376 crore 94 lakh taka.

It has also been possible to achieve high growth in gross revenue like duties and income tax. In this case, 16.18 percent growth has come. In the five months of the last fiscal year, the amount of Musak revenue was Tk 38 thousand 30 crore 64 lakh.

This time it has increased to 44 thousand 183 crore 83 lakh taka. It should be noted that in the current fiscal year NBR has set a target of 3 lakh 70 thousand crore takaVarious sources in the government claim that apart from revenue collection, the government is working to disrupt international legitimate trade through modern and automated information sharing between border agencies of neighboring countries and other countries.

In this regard, experts are insisting on creating a hassle-free customs-friendly environment to pay duties easily and comfortably. According to them, a secure trading environment is essential for sustainable development.

This will speed up customs trade and investment. And Customs has an important role to play in ensuring a safe trade environment. They have to play a leading role in creating a free, equal and safe environment in the field of international trade and import-export.

In fact, at present more than 90 percent of our budget expenditure is met from internal revenue collection. And customs has a big role in this internal revenue earning. Therefore, Bangladesh Customs is working to secure the border of Bangladesh by coordinating with other agencies and not only collecting revenue.

> Islamic perspective on collection of duties:-
It will not be permissible to sell foreign goods imported by evading government duties. However, in the view of the government, this act is a punishable crime, so there is caution in not selling such products. Because it is mentioned in the Qur'an Majid, meaning 'do not throw yourselves into destruction with your own hands.' Raddul Muhtar 6/399 And the finance department of the Islamic state is called Baitul Mal.

The prescribed means of importation of Baitul goods are - Zakat, Ushar, Khiraj, Jizya, Male Fi, Male booty and lost wealth. Apart from these, Islam is very sensitive about imposing taxes on people. In general, taxation has been considered oppressive. However, if a situation occurs in the country that there is not enough money stored in the Baitul Maal to meet the overall needs of the country and people, then Islamic scholars have allowed that situation to be a special situation and to levy taxes limited to the needs with great caution.

In terminology it is called 'Jaribatun Nayebah' (temporary tax). But this will be permitted, when the rulers abstain from comforts and luxuries and levy taxes to meet their needs in good faith.

However, care should always be taken to ensure that there is no oppression in tax collection. Hadith came in Sharif, Rasulullah (SAW)Said, "Whoever takes Maks will not enter Paradise." (Abu Dawud, Hadith Number: 2939)
'Max' is usually translated as 'tax'. On this basis it is sometimes thought that this hadith prohibits all forms of taxation. But the fact is that the Muhaddith and the Faqihs have interpreted Maks in different ways. Imam Abu Ubayd Qasem Ibn Salam Rahmatullahi Alayhi said in the explanation of this hadith, such a custom was in the Jahili era.

All Arab and non-Arab kings used to do this. It was their rule to collect tithes of their wealth from traders when they passed through their territory. (Al-Amwal, Abu Ubayd: narration number: 1131) In the interpretation of Imam Tahawi (R.A.), he wrote that the duty Rasulullah (S.A.) The ushar (tithe) which was extorted from the Muslims was usul during the Jahili era. (Sharhu Ma'anil Asar: 4/253) Imam Ghazali (RA) shed light on this issue in detail. First, he condemned rulers who taxed the comforts and luxuries of their armies. He then specified the following conditions for levy of tax—
a) The ruler must be one whose obedience is obligatory.
b) There must be a real need for the security of the country. c) Baitul Mal must be worthless.
d) Only such amount of tax can be levied as is sufficient to meet the needs.
E) Justice should be adopted in the distribution of taxes on the people. Let it not happen that one person is taxed heavily, while another like him is taxed less than thatSince it seemed difficult for contemporary rulers to properly observe these conditions, the ulema have always discouraged the imposition of such taxes. Granted permission under strict conditions when necessary. When the Tatars invaded the Muslim world, and the Sultan needed resources to pay for the war, he wanted to borrow some from the merchants and impose some taxes. For this he called a gathering of Ulama and Qazis. At that time, the leader of the Ulema was Hazrat Shaykh Izzuddin Ibn Abdus Salam (RA).

He addressed the Sultan and said that when the enemy attacks the Muslim country, it is obligatory for all Muslims to fight against them. As many resources as you can manage the war, you can extort from the people. (An-Nujum az-Zahira : 7/72-73, Tabaqatush Shafiyyah : 8/215) The bottom line is that everyone has allowed the imposition of taxes in proportion to the actual need. Rather, the book written by Imam Haramain Allama Juwaini Rahmatullahi Alaihi Nizamul Malik Tusi is famous as 'Al-Ghiyasi'. In it, he has discussed this in detail in several chapters.

He also said that if Baitul Mal has individual requirements, then such tax can be levied differently. (Giyasul Umam Fi Iltiyasiz Jalam, Juwaini: 256-286) But even though this matter is permissible, so that this opportunity cannot be misused anywhere, the Ulema have always kept that fear in mind.
Corruption of resources is rampant in governments these days. The national treasury is used very mercilessly. A large part of the national wealth is spent on the comforts and luxuries of the ruling society. There are numerous expenses, which have no validity.

The expenditure on buildings and palaces of the rulers is unbridled. Rather a matter of regret! Muslim countries have surpassed many non-Muslim countries in the reckless use of national resources. If these corruptions and abuses are removed from the expenditure of the national exchequer, the necessity of imposing heavy taxes on the people will doubtless be lessened to a great extentBut the fact cannot be denied that the new culture has created many consumption sectors, which do not fall under the definition of luxury; Rather, they are necessary to live with self-respect in any country in this era.

Today's governments have to provide many services that were not the responsibility of the previous government. For example, electricity and gas supply and infrastructural development in the country. Of course there were many categories before; But their cost was not so high. Currently their cost has increased manifold.

For example, provision of new weapons for war, construction of paved roads, new means of communication, management of information and publicity, education and health—each of these costs undoubtedly increased greatly. Again, in most of these cases (according to the Hanafi Madhhab) the meaning of Zakat and Ushar cannot be used.

Finally, I want to say that every Muslim should do business by following the principles of Islam in conducting business. Therefore, oppression, deception, forgery, fraud, cheating, profiteering or buying and selling, production, carrying etc. of any forbidden things which are against social and morals must be prohibited in business. So doing business by following Islamic principles is the demand of Shari'aMay Allah grant everyone the Tawfiq to follow the instructions of Islam. Give security in this world and hereafter. Ameen.

Finally, I would like to say that the customs department of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) is a provider of large sums of money for the development activities of the country in addition to conducting import-export activities in less time and easily. More than 25 percent of revenue is collected through customs or duties.

In the past, customs was the sole revenue generating sector. Customs is still one of the main sources of revenue for the government despite the reduction of customs duties in the interest of trade liberalization.

Apart from collecting revenue, Customs actually controls the import of various harmful goods by imposing different levels of duty according to the standard of living of the people, creating investment and employment. With that in mind, Customs is also working for the welfare of the general public.

That is why the customs department has to be modernized with time. Modern customs journey was mainly after World War II. And it should be ensured that no one can import any goods harmful to the country using customs stations. Moreover, customs also play an important role in ensuring the export of good quality products from Bangladesh.

The writer is a columnist & researcher Founder Chairman, Jatiya rogi Kalyan
Society.

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