PM orders swift action against tax defaulters

Shehbaz summons comprehensive plan for digital strategy and automated track and trace system

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Monday issued urgent directives to take decisive action against tax defaulters and evaders, signalling a renewed crackdown on financial misconduct in the country.

In a high-level meeting held in Islamabad regarding the implementation of the track and trace system, the premier chaired discussions aimed at bolstering tax enforcement measures across various sectors of the economy.

A committee has been tasked with identifying obstacles within the system and pinpointing those responsible for tax theft within a strict seven-day timeframe, the PM Office media wing said in a press release.

The committee would be tasked to submit proposals for enforcing automatic tax system in factories and industries.

PM Shehbaz questioned as to why the system was still inactive, saying that it should have been made functional in the tobacco, sugar, cement and fertiliser industries in the last two years and that the system should be placed in other important sectors of the economy.

He said that all the legal impediments in the enforcement of the track and trace system should be removed. The prime minister directed that the system should be enforced at all the production lines of cement factories, besides he summoned a comprehensive plan for digital strategy and automated track and trace system.

He further directed that all factories resisting the implementation of the track and trace system should be immediately sealed. He expressed that besides generating revenues, the said system could also be utilised to identify counterfeit and substandard products.

The prime minister called for an end to the circulation of fake and unregistered cigarettes and emphasised their destruction. He highlighted that the country was grappling with economic issues, exacerbated by the connivance of mafia elements causing harm to the national economy. Additionally, the prime minister emphasised seeking assistance from international institutions in implementing the track and trace system.

During the meeting, detailed information was provided about the challenges hindering the automated implementation of the track and trace system in the cement, sugar, fertiliser, and tobacco sectors.

It was reported that out of 14 tobacco factories, the system was fully functional, while 12 others had been sealed due to non-compliance. The system was fully operational in the fertiliser industry, but encountered issues in sugar and cement factories, which were being addressed due to technical reasons.

Furthermore, the meeting was informed that raids were being conducted on warehouses nationwide to combat smuggling. The prime minister directed law enforcement agencies to support the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in this endeavour.


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