Saturday September 18, 2021

Track & trace system to curb tax evasion soon: officials

September 03, 2021

PESHAWAR: Government authorities are likely to introduce a Track & Trace system to check tax

evasion worth billions of rupees in the sectors of tobacco, cement, sugar and fertilisers.

Officials in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said the system would be launched this month as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to boost the country’s revenue. They estimated the country’s annual revenue from these sectors would increase manifold after implementation of the system.

They said the FBR had been making efforts for the last 15 years to implement the system, but it was delayed every time due to court cases and other factors.

The prime minister has consistently pushed the FBR to launch the system to curb tax evasion and document the country’s economy.

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has recently dismissed the civil suit of M/s SICPA against the award of track and trace system contract granted to the M/s AJCL consortium.

The officials said there was no reason now to delay implementation of the project.

The FBR has already directed sugar mills to start the process of installation of the track and trace system at the manufacturing premises of sugar factories. The FBR will notify a date after implementation of the “track and trace system” to put an end to the sale of cigarettes, sugar, cement, and fertiliser products without a tax stamp.

The FBR will confiscate the cigarettes, sugar, cement and fertiliser without the tax stamps from the market, officials said. The manufacturers would not be able to sell cigarettes, sugar, cement, and fertiliser in the market without having tax stamps after proper implementation of the system in the country.

The officials said that tax evasion only in the tobacco sector was believed to be around Rs200 billion and such evasion compels the government to impose indirect taxes which results in inflating the prices of commodities of everyday use.

The Track & Trace system aims at providing minimum human interface, preventing leakage of revenue, under-reporting sales of specified goods and to ensure proper payment of duty and taxes.