THERE have been a lot of advertisements placed by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) regarding a loss worth Rs77 billion to the national exchequer owing to illegal cigarette trade.

This reminds me of an American magic show, Penn and Teller: Fool Us. The FBR advertisements fail to provide any detail about how a loss of such magnitude is being caused so consistently.

The FBR should tell the public that there are two elements in the cigarette industry; the smuggled stuff and the one produced locally. Both the segments are evading taxes, and the FBR is unable to manage either of them.

The FBR should find faults within its own mechanism spread across the country instead of running such expensive advertisements in newspapers which is nothing but a waste of taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

Inayat Ullah Sheikh
Lahore

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2022

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