A FEW years ago, the government had introduced the point of sale (POS) prize scheme as part of efforts to encourage documentation of retail operations. Customers purchasing different commodities from the retailers had one rupee deducted from each purchase, and the relevant Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) invoice number was included for balloting under the scheme.
The prizes were worth Rs50,000, Rs250,000, Rs500,000, and Rs1 million.
Regular monthly draws were held for 10 months, from January to October, last year, and thousands of customers participated in the scheme and won various prizes.
For no identified reason, the previous finance minister suspended the scheme through an SRO from Nov 15, 2022, to Jan 31, 2023. While doing so, the minister concerned announced that the government would introduce a new and more attractive prize scheme.
Unfortunately, he failed to live up to his promise, but the retailers are continuing to deduct one rupee, thus boosting the government’s coffers at the cost of the customers. Perhaps, this was the target of the decision to suspend the scheme. The caretaker government should look into this issue in the larger interest of the masses.
Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2023