FBR signs pact to activate track and trace system

Published March 6, 2021
A contract has been signed with AJCL, Authentix Inc. USA and Mitas Corporation. — APP/File
A contract has been signed with AJCL, Authentix Inc. USA and Mitas Corporation. — APP/File

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) signed a contract with a consortium on Friday to operationalise the ‘Track & Trace Solution’ on tobacco, cement, sugar and fertiliser sectors from July 1, aimed at accelerating digitisation of economic activity, improving revenue forecasting and curbing counterfeit products in the market.

The FBR said that 45 million tonnes of cement, over four billion sticks of tobacco cigarettes, four million tonnes of sugar and 30m tonnes of fertiliser would be brought into the tax net.

The consortium comprising AJCL (Pvt) Limited, Authentix Inc. USA and Mitas Corporation was declared as “the most advantageous bid” by the FBR on the basis of the combined highest score in accordance with the Licensing Rules 2019 and PPRA rules 2004.

New system for tobacco, cement, sugar and fertiliser sectors from July 1

“A contract has been signed between Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and AJCL along with its lead partner Authentix Inc. USA and Mitas Corporation of South Africa to operationalise Track & Trace Solution on Tobacco, Cement, Sugar and Fertilizer Sectors,” said a tweet from FBR’s official Twitter account.

The contract was signed by FBR Member (IR-Operations) Dr Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed, Authentix CEO Kevin McKenna, Mitas Corporation’s Sten Bertelsen and AJCL CEO Omer Jaffer on behalf of their respective organisations.

“This system will enhance tax revenue, reducing counterfeiting and prevention of smuggling of illicit goods,” the FBR said in another tweet.

“Track and Trace involves implementation of a robust, nationwide, electronic monitoring system of production volumes by affixation of more than 5 billion tax stamps on various products at the production stage, which will enable FBR to track the goods throughout the supply chain,” it added. Dr Ashfaq Ahmed said the FBR would be working closely with the AJCL consortium during the rollout of the programme across different industries on aggressive timelines.

Kevin McKenna said the programme would help provide a transformational boost to the local economy, enhance revenue and make the tax collection process more transparent.

Omer Jaffer said the consortium was looking forward to working with the FBR to configure and implement various components of the solution.

In an earlier announcement, the FBR had said that installation of the Track and Trace System in identified sectors would be a game changer for improving revenue and curbing counterfeit products in the market.

The FBR expects to start installing UIMs (tax stamps) on products of various sectors from July this year.

Anti-smuggling operation

The FBR’s Inland Revenue Enforcement Network has seized 11.7m cigarettes of various brands worth Rs45m across the country through which duties and taxes worth Rs24.4m have been evaded.

“Similarly, Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation Customs, during an operation, seized a large quantity of smuggled cigarettes and gatka from Bolton Market, Karachi on MA Jinnah Road, worth Rs80.1m,” the FBR announced in a tweet on Friday.

The Inland Revenue Enforcement Network and Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation Customs have stepped up operations across the country against illegally smuggled and non-duty paid cigarettes, the FBR said, adding that as per the instructions from the prime minister and the FBR chairman, operations are under way to curb illicit trade in cigarettes.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2021

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