Monday November 29, 2021

Cameras to be installed in sugar mills to curb tax evasion

February 04, 2021

ISLAMABAD: A high-level meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Wednesday, was told that the market committees had failed to deliver, therefore, it was decided to abolish them in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It was also decided to install cameras in sugar mills to curb tax evasion.

The forum during its weekly meeting was informed that the difference in prices between wholesale and retail indicated the failure of the market committees. The meeting reviewed availability and prices of basic commodities across Pakistan.

The meeting decided that the existing market committees in the two provincial governments of the PTI would be abolished immediately. As a result of transparent process, this responsibility will be handed over to the concerned district and tehsil administration till the formation of committees consisting of competent persons.

It was decided in the meeting that in case of non-implementation of the price list, action would be taken against the concerned assistant commissioner. Addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that ensuring the availability of basic commodities as well as ensuring reasonable prices was the top priority of the government. The prime minister directed the Utility Stores management to ensure ample availability of basic necessities.

The prime minister directed the Ministry of National Food Security to complete work of estimating basic necessities like wheat and sugar for future needs as soon as possible to ensure advance arrangements in this regard.

The prime minister directed all the chief secretaries to ensure the implementation of price list and dynamic and active role of the administration in this regard. He directed that immediate action be taken against negligent officers.

Relevant federal and provincial ministers, secretaries, chief secretaries and other senior officers attended the meeting. Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, quoting the Consumer Price Index (CPI), said that based on a comparative review of the annual basis, the CPI in January was recorded at 5.7 percent as against 14.6 percent in the previous year.

Similarly, the CPI was recorded at 8.2 percent from July to January as against 11.2 percent in the same month last year (July to January). According to these statistics, there has been a clear decline in the CPI. The meeting was informed that the prices of sugar, eggs, onions, etc. have come down while the prices of flour have come to a standstill.

The meeting was briefed on the status of official wheat release by the government and briefing given on wholesale and retail level and price differences in different districts.

The meeting also discussed in detail the various measures to be taken to control sugar prices in the light of the sugar inquiry report. It was decided at the meeting that the process of installation of cameras in sugar mills would be expedited. At the same time, the FBR will provide details of the sales tax collected on sugar to the provincial governments to make the system more transparent.

The meeting was informed that as a result of effective measures taken by the FBR, the period from July to January has witnessed an increase of 84 percent in terms of sugar sales tax.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed the commitment to expand Pakistan-Egypt relations in diverse fields, including high-level exchanges, trade and economic cooperation, education and culture. The reaffirmation came from the prime minister during a meeting with Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Tarek Dahroug, who called on him here on Wednesday.