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    President directs immediate release of radiation machine for cancer patients

    President directs immediate release of radiation machine for cancer patients

    Chitral Times Report

    ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has upheld the decision of the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) directing the Collector of Customs, Lahore to get released a radiation machine within 07 days, for the treatment of cancer patients, which had been lying with M/s Gerry’s Dnata (Pvt) Ltd since 2023. He directed the release keeping in view the sensitive nature of the equipment and the noble cause of serving humanity, particularly the cancer patients. He stressed that in case of non-compliance the Collector Customs shall initiate necessary proceedings as per law.

    The President regretted that the radiation machine had been lying in the shed of the Collectorate of Customs, Lahore since 04.04.2023 and the Gerry’s was refusing to release the machine without payment of the extra cost for keeping the shipment with it in the warehouse, despite the fact that Customs authorities had issued a Delay and Detention Certificate (DDC) for waiving off the storage/demurrage charges. He lamented that the Gerry’s did not consider it a serious matter, and refused to release the machine without a huge payment of warehouse charges, thus, making those cancer patients and poor people of Pakistan suffer who get treatments from public sector hospitals of the country. “Exploitative business in this manner without a compassionate understanding of issues is regrettable”, he added.

    As per details, the CEO of Mayo Hospital Lahore (the complainant) had filed a complaint with FTO against the Collectorate of Customs, Allama Iqbal International Airport (AIIAP), Lahore on the refusal of M/s Gerry’s to honour the Delay and Detention Certificate (DDC) issued by the Assistant Collector of Customs and release the machine. According to him, Mayo Hospital had imported a Cobalt-60 Source to give radiation to cancer patients and was the only machine available for patients in public sector hospitals. The machine was lying in the shed of the Collectorate of Customs, AIIAP since 04.04.2023 due to the non-availability of funds to pay the outstanding charges to M/s Gerry’s. The Customs authorities had forwarded the matter to the Manager Cargo of Gerry’s Dnata Shed, AIIAP, Lahore, which had refused to release the consignment without payment of outstanding charges.

    The Complainant had requested to waive off charges and release the equipment on an urgent basis but to no avail. Feeling aggrieved, he approached FTO, who asked the Collector of Customs AIIAP, Lahore to immediately coordinate with Gerry’s to release the goods. The Gerry’s then filed a representation against FTO’s decision with the President. The President, after hearing the case, noted that the Gerry’s had not implemented the DDC by not releasing the machine in violation of the provisions of the Customs Act 1969. He highlighted that the legislature had imposed penal consequences upon those who failed to honour the duly issued DDC and the provisions of the Act were to be strictly construed and were mandatory. He referred to Section 14-A of the Customs Act which provides that if any agency or persons managing or owning a customs airport fails to entertain a DDC issued by the officer of the Customs, such agency or person shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding five hundred thousand rupees.

    He said that the DDC issued by the Assistant Collector of Customs had to be honoured, and the Act’s provisions could not be ignored by the Gerry’s. The President, therefore, rejected the representation of the Gerry’s and directed the Collector of Customs AIIAP to implement the orders within 07 days, get the goods released, and initiate necessary proceedings as per law in case of non-compliance.


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