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Custom House to Get Rid of Middlemen – thanks to TIB report


In a bid to free all Custom House free from middlemen and ensure its efficiency, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) issued office order and chalked out a detail plan to be implemented with the support from law enforcing agencies. These illegally appointed middlemen, popularly known as ‘Badi Alam’ has long been working as helper of custom officials at different Custom Houses for long time. The principal task of Badi Alams is to negotiate with clients about custom duty in export –import. Their illegal involvement created opportunity for bribery and corruption in export-import value chain and ultimately deprived the government a huge revenue earning.
The NBR move was a result of TIB study titled ‘Automation of Export-Import in Chittagong Port and Custom House: Governance Challenges and Way Forward’ that was released on 14 July 2014 in Dhaka. Manzoor-E-Khoda and Juliet Rossette, Programme Managers, Research and Policy, TIB conducted the study.
After release of the study, the NBR expressed its interest to discuss the report findings with TIB. Subsequently a meeting between TIB research team and NBR officials was held on 6 August at NBR’s Segunbagicha Office. 
The NBR appreciated TIB’s work and emphasised on effective collaboration with TIB to bring transparency and accountability in export-import. The TIB team made a very brief presentation on study findings followed by open discussion by NBR officials.


The National Board of Revenue appreciated TIB’s work and emphasised on effective collaboration with TIB to bring transparency and accountability in export-import


They highlighted various on-going initiatives of NBR towards full automation of Custom House. NBR is developing a Single Window to streamline export-import process which will be made operational in few years time. 
Key decisions of the meeting between TIB and NBR included immediate ouster of ‘Badi Alams’, completion of all in ASYCUDA World modules within one year, immediate end of ongoing practice of signing the printed copy of the bill-of-entry by the customs officials and recruitment of third and fourth class staff to ease day to day works of Custom House etc.
The TIB study estimated that a total minimum value of daily illegal transactions in Custom house is Tk 4.75 million and Tk 1.72 million in port in cargo clearing process.
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman 2 September thanked the NBR Chairman for discarding illegal ‘Badi Alam’ system through prompt actions led by him.