No trace of tracking system

Despite falling short of its tobacco revenue target, Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has failed to introduce the track and trace system that was designed specifically to curb tobacco-tax evasion, according to a story in Pakistan Today (PT).
In fact, PT, quoting ‘sources,’ said the FBR had not completed the bidding process for the system, which was supposed to have been launched 10 months ago.
A Senate committee on finance had asked the FBR to complete the bidding process and enforce the tracking system to avoid tax evasions.
But the sources had disclosed that only one bidder had participated in the bidding process, and that that bidder had failed to meet the ‘tough’ qualification criteria.
The sources were quoted as saying that in the light of this, the FBR might issue a new tender after making some changes to the original tender specifications.
The FBR’s tobacco-products track and trace system aims to prevent the under-reporting of production and sales, along with revenue leakage.
The system is aimed, too, at ensuring the proper payment of federal excise duty (FED) and sales tax on tobacco products, while curbing the illegal tobacco trade that places registered businesses at a competitive disadvantage.