IT is interesting to see the findings of a study, ‘Asia-11 Illicit Tobacco Indicator 2012,’ conducted by Oxford Economics that ranks Pakistan highest in domestic illicit cigarette volumes and consumption of illicit cigarettes among the 11 Asian countries.

In Pakistan, according to the report, composition of domestic illicit cigarettes stands at 86.3 per cent and non-domestic illicit cigarettes is 13.7 per cent. This resulted in tax revenue losses of about more than $250 million in 2012.

It is a fact that high taxation on legal tobacco brands and weak enforcement of existing laws are the main factors fuelling illicit tobacco business.

I wonder if the government is serious about optimal tax collection, then why is it least bothered to address this issue once and for all? I don’t know why illicit cigarette brands are still available in markets after the so-called anti-illicit derives conducted by the FBR time and again.

I want to request finance managers to gear up the Federal Bureau of Revenue to curb this illicit business, which is flourishing right under their nose, if they are serious in their bid to boost the country’s economy.

MUSTAFA KHURRAM
Islamabad

Opinion

Editorial

More pledges
25 May, 2024

More pledges

THE administration’s campaign to bring Gulf investment to Pakistan continues apace, with the prime minister...
Pemra overreach
25 May, 2024

Pemra overreach

IT seems, at best, a misguided measure and, at worst, an attempt to abuse regulatory power to silence the media. A...
Enduring threat
25 May, 2024

Enduring threat

THE death this week of journalist Nasrullah Gadani, who succumbed to injuries after being attacked by gunmen, is yet...
IMF’s unease
Updated 24 May, 2024

IMF’s unease

It is clear that the next phase of economic stabilisation will be very tough for most of the population.
Belated recognition
24 May, 2024

Belated recognition

WITH Wednesday’s announcement by three European states that they intend to recognise Palestine as a state later...
App for GBV survivors
24 May, 2024

App for GBV survivors

GENDER-based violence is caught between two worlds: one sees it as a crime, the other as ‘convention’. The ...