Tax collection from cigarette industry jumps 26pc

Published December 29, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs a special meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday. — PID photo
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs a special meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday. — PID photo

ISLAMABAD: The revenue collection from the cigarette manufacturers grew 26 per cent to Rs83.5 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year from the same period a year ago thanks to the Track and Trace System (TTS) introduced to check tax evasion in the tobacco sector.

The statistics were shared in a special meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to review measures taken to curb smuggling and tax evasion in the cigarette industry.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Tariq Bajwa, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman Asim Ahmed and senior officials attended the meeting.

The TTS was introduced in the tobacco sector on July 1, 2021.

However, no data was shared on whether there was any increase in the number of cigarettes because of the tracking system.

The revenue growth is mainly because of two factors — the cigarette prices were increased besides a substantial increase in the Federal Excise Duty rates in the last budget.

An official announcement said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the FBR chairman to take immediate measures to curb cigarette smuggling and tax evasion as well as illegal transportation of tobacco.

The meeting was informed that most of the cigarette factories had implemented the TTS, which has led to a significant improvement in tax collection.

Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2022

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