From Business Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: Illegal trade is a menace for the economy that deprives the government of big revenues, while restricting the growth of numerous law-abiding industries that are making healthy contributions to the national exchequer, by regularly paying their taxes and dues.
In Pakistan, the tobacco industry has continuously suffered due to the illicit manufacturing and trading of cigarettes. The government has been losing revenues of over 45 billion Rupees annually and stands to lose further based on expected 2020 volume trends. Hence, the FBR continues to fight against unlawful production, smuggling and sales of cigarettes.
Over the years, previous government regimes have been taking various measures to curb this menace, but unfortunately, the mal-practices in Pakistan’s tobacco industry have continued. However, since the PTI-led government has come into power, it is showing zero tolerance for tax evasion, especially in the tobacco sector.
The FBR has also shown a stronger resolve against illicit trade by taking fiscal measures and deploying technology-based solutions, such as the track and trace system that promises more effective control and regulatory compliance in various industries, including tobacco. Along with this the FBR have also been conducting raids and seizing smuggled and counterfeit goods on a regular basis. Furthermore these illicit manufacturers violate other health laws such as advertising, targeting youth, monetary incentives and lucky draws etc. all of which are prohibited under the law of Pakistan.