PM Shehbaz Shareef Forms Committee to Address Track and Trace System Delays

On March 25, 2024, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif gave orders to make sure the track and trace system works properly in all areas, like tobacco, cement, sugar, and fertilizer industries, to stop people from avoiding paying taxes.

The Prime Minister’s office has formed a committee of 5 members to figure out why there’s a delay in fully launching the Track and Trace System (T&TS) in important industries. This system is really important to avoid any kind of financial loss.

The committee has been given seven days to figure out what’s stopping the track and trace system from working fully and who’s dodging taxes.

Shehbaz Sharif mentioned that the committee will also give ideas on how to use the automatic tax system in factories in the future.The Prime Minister also stressed the importance of getting rid of any legal problems that are creating hurdle in the track and trace system. He asked for a detailed plan on how to make sure the automatic track and trace system is enforced properly and also wanted a digital strategy.

This committee’s job is to find out why there are delays and who’s responsible for them. They’ll check if the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials might have caused these delays because of problems with the contract. They’ll also see if there are any technical issues that haven’t been solved yet.

Moreover, PM mentioned that any factories that don’t want to put in the track and trace system should be closed right away. Besides just collecting money, Shehbaz Sharif suggested using the track and trace system to stop fake and low-quality products. He ordered that the selling of fake and unregistered cigarettes should be stopped and those cigarettes should be taken away 

He mentioned that the country is facing economic issues, and multiple mafias are working together to harm the national finances.The Prime Minister suggested bringing in well-known international organizations to help with the track and trace system.

During the meeting, they got a detailed explanation about how the automatic tax system is doing right now and what’s stopping it from working fully in the sugar, cement, fertilizer, and tobacco industries.

Even though there have been problems, using the T&TS in industries like sugar, fertilizer, and tobacco has helped the government collect more taxes. In the fiscal year 23, the government collected Rs. 7,164 billion, up from Rs. 6,148 billion in the fiscal year 22. And they’ve already collected more than they expected for the first nine months of fiscal year 24.

The fact that there’s been a lot of opposition to using the T&TS shows that it’s actually working. Even though not everyone is following the rules, it’s still important to fully use the system, which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) supports. The FBR is thinking about being stricter, like giving penalties to companies that don’t follow the rules and checking and monitoring distibution and retail.

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