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Pakistan

APP
March 16, 2021

'FBR's track and trace system useful for monioring mass tax evasions'

Pakistan

APP
Tue, Mar 16, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs meeting of the Federal Cabinet in Islamabad. Photo: APP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR’s) automated track and trace system is useful for monitoring mass tax evasions in the country.

The premier also directed the country's Law Minister, Barrister Farogh Naseem, to work on getting the stay order by the Sindh High Court vacated. 

Chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet, the Prime Minister asked Barrister Farogh Naseem to “convince the Sindh High Court that the non-imposition of the automated system would incur losses of billions to the country”.

The Sindh High Court has issued a stay order on FBR’s proposed tax mechanism.

The prime minister said that FBR had given assurances that the system would be rolled out by June this year.

He said the FBR had been making efforts for the last 15 years to implement the Track & Trace (T&T) System, but the move was regrettably “sabotaged” each time.

PM Imran Khan said big sectors of the economy, including tobacco, cement, and sugar were witnessing mass tax evasions, adding that the sugar industry alone did not pay a tax of Rs400 billion in five years.

In the tobacco industry, he said, only 19% of the tax was paid by two big companies, while 40% was being evaded resulting in a loss of billions of rupees to the country.

The premier further said that tax evasion led to the imposition of indirect taxes by the government which inflated the prices of commodities of everyday use.

The FBR’s Track & Trace system aims to provide an interface that requires minimum human intervention, preventing leakage of revenue, under-reporting sales of specified goods and ensuring proper payment of duty and taxes.

Electronic voting system a priority for govt

Speaking about the topic of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), the prime minister said the system is important to ensure transparency in general polls and check the corrupt practice of vote-purchasing.

He termed the provision of online voting for overseas Pakistan a priority of his government and stressed an effective strategy for its implementation.

The prime minister sought progress reports in every cabinet meeting on the matters of installation of EVM and voting process for overseas Pakistanis.

The federal cabinet also discussed several development projects on the agenda.