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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Department of Inland Revenue, Azad Kashmir have agreed to formulate a joint strategy to check the illegal cigarette factories involved in manufacturing of counterfeit cigarettes within the territorial jurisdiction of the AJK.

Talking to media Saturday, civil society representatives of the AJK expressed serious concern over the open sale of drugs and trade of cigarettes in the market by a company called Way Ward. They were shocked that the unit was openly selling counterfeit cigarettes in AJK causing serious health issues for the young generation. The factory must be sealed immediately due to serious issues of counterfeit production of cigarettes.

The FBR's intelligence arm i.e. Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation Inland Revenue; Inland Revenue Enforcement Network and AJK tax authorities are expedited to take joint action against such units involved in manufacturing of counterfeit cigarettes.

They have called on the government, administration and police to take immediate action against drug dealers and counterfeit cigarette factories to save the lives of the young generation.

They demanded of the local administration to take immediate action against all those involved in the illicit trade who are playing with the future of the young generation.

The civil society representatives also wanted that if the government does not take immediate action against counterfeit cigarette factories, the civil society itself will come to the fore against the sellers for which the entire responsibility will fall on the government, the administration and the police.

They added that youth in the area could be easy prey of these mafias; therefore government and local authorities should clampdown these elements without any further delay.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020