Tuesday December 07, 2021

To avoid tax evasion: FBR selects 7 vendors for video analytics equipment

November 19, 2020

ISLAMABAD: In a bid to gauge the real production of important revenue generation sectors such as sugar, cement, tobacco and beverages, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has selected seven vendors for installing video analytics equipment at premises of each unit to ensure electronic monitoring for the purpose of avoiding tax evasion.

The FBR high-ups concede that the rampant tax evasion could only be tackled effectively through the use of latest technology. Without the use of technology, it’s almost impossible to avoid massive tax evasion that turns into multi billion rupees per annum in case of each major sector.

The FBR is also contemplating upon installing another technological solution known as Track and Trace System for placing electronic stamps that could be tracked in any part of the country with the help of barcode. However, despite making efforts, the FBR failed to install the Track and Trace system from the last one decade. Last time, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) struck down the bidding process of the Track and Trace system and directed the FBR to go ahead with fresh bidding. “Now the FBR has hired an international consultancy firm M/S Ideco biometric solution belonging from South Africa that is going to supervise the whole procurement process so that foolproof process could be followed keeping in view best international practices,” a top official of the FBR told The News in background discussions here on Wednesday.

“We are making efforts to accomplish awarding contract of the Track and Trace system till December 31, 2020. Then the system will be run on pilot project basis for six months so this system will become fully operational from July 1, 2021 (next fiscal year 2021-22)” the FBR official said.

Under Video Analytics Rules 2020, the FBR has selected vendors for allowing units of each sector to avail video monitoring system from these selected seven firms. The FBR issued advertisement for pre-qualification of vendors on October 07, 2020 and seven bids were received till October 22, 2020. The FBR decided to select all seven vendors because each one of them was providing good technological solutions so in order to avoid litigation, all vendors were qualified and selected.

Top official sources in the FBR confirmed to The News that the seven selected vendors included M/S AJCL-Authentix-MITAS (consortium), M/S CNS Engineering, M/S COMMTEL Pakistan, M/S DWP Technological (Pvt) Ltd, M/S Focus Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, M/S NRTC and GCS and M/S TPL Trakker Limited. “In the first phase, the sugar sector is the first one where the video analytics system will be installed. The FBR and Pakistan Sugar Mills Association had already signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the sugar mills would be installing system from their liked ones out of selected seven vendors,” the FBR official said.

Now in phased manner, the FBR would sign agreements with other sectors such as tobacco, cement, beverages and others to install video monitoring system at their premises in gradual manner.

In order to operationalise Video Analytics Rules on sugar sector, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed. For this purpose, video analytics technology has been introduced to monitor the production of specified goods through high-tech video cameras to be installed on the production lines of sugar industry. The introduction of new technology will enable the FBR to receive real-time video analytics data of production from the manufacturing sites and use it for tax collection purpose.