FBR making efforts to stop illegal sale of cigarettes

FBR has estimated a collection of around Rs40bn if tobacco sector fully implements track and trace system

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to strengthen its enforcement team in order to stop the illicit sale of non-duty paid and counterfeit cigarettes in the country.

Sources said that the tax department will shuffle officials in a few days to intensify its operation against businesses dealing in non-duty paid and counterfeit cigarettes to save the national exchequer from revenue losses.

“The department will not only post officials within the premises of units but will also make them perform duties on roads to seize illegal cigarettes,” sources added.

Last Thursday, the tax watchdog had seized approximately 65,811,500 sticks non-duty paid cigarettes worth Rs156 million resulting in the detection of evasion of taxes and duties of worth Rs125 million in the first four months of the current fiscal (4MFY22).

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Earlier in October, Inland Revenue Enforcement Network (IREN) Squads of FBR had also seized 16,326,000 illegal cigarettes worth Rs46 million.

Sources said that FBR cannot successfully implement the Track and Trace system until or unless the team enforcement is made better.

Presently, FBR is trying its hard to implement a track and trace system in tobacco companies. So far, only Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC), meeting the deadline, implemented the track and trace system.

Sources said that FBR has estimated a collection of around Rs40 billion if the tobacco sector fully implements the track and trace system.

According to FBR’s plans, the Track & Trace System would be rolled out to cover tobacco manufacturing across the country from January 1, 2022 whereas the AJK government has approached the Board to extend the scope of the system to cigarette manufacturing units located inside the region’s territory.

It is expected that over the next few months, the system’s implementation coupled with IREN’s valiant drive would help overcome the menace of counterfeit, illicit and non-tax paid cigarettes in the market.

 

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