FBR meets stakeholders to forge consensus on tobacco track, trace system

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Thursday held a wide-ranging, interactive session with the stakeholders, including representatives from the World Bank, to develop and implement a track and trace system for tobacco products.

The deliberations were made as part of a workshop arranged by FBR and attended by representatives of the cigarette industry, IT solutions providers and FBR enforcement officers. The participants of the workshop unanimously agreed to welcome the newly proposed Track and Trace System (TTS) if it was implemented across the board through a fair and transparent process.

Earlier, the FBR Islamabad director general briefed the participants on the purpose and scope of the TTS and invited the participants to offer their input and suggestions in order to make the entire process fair and transparent.

The FBR TTS project director also briefed the participants in detail on the concerns and observations of the stakeholders and regulatory authorities on the TTS system.

Addressing the workshop, representatives of leading local tobacco manufacturing companies expressed their concerns on the cost-effectiveness of the TTS while the IT solution providers called for a generic request for proposals (RFP), as a non-specific or restrictive RFP limits the scope of a level-playing field necessary for all potential bidders to participate in the bidding process.

Speaking on the occasion, the representative from the World Bank expressed willingness to provide all assistance to FBR in making the bidding process of the system a success.

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