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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday underlined the need for putting in place the track and trace system by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to stop the tax evasion by some big sectors of the economy.

Speaking to the cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister deplored that FBR efforts to put in place a track and trace system were sabotaged and directed the law minister to convince the Sindh High Court, which had given stay order against it, that how important was the implementation of that to prevent tax evasion by some big sectors of the economy.

The Prime Minister said there was massive tax evasion by some sectors and mentioned sugar, fertilizer, and cement as well as cigarettes industry in that regard.

He said that 40 percent of cigarettes were being sold by the informal sector that did not pay taxes and 98 percent of tax came from only two big companies, consequently, the country had to face billion of rupees tax loss.

The Prime Minister said that FBR had been trying to put in place a track and trace system for the last 15 years, but its efforts were constantly being sabotaged. “We were given assurance by the FBR that track and trace system would be operational from June but now the government was informed that Sindh High Court has given a stay order against it. As the government cannot stop tax evasion without putting in place a track and trace system,” he added, consequently, indirect taxes were imposed which hurt the common man the most.

He also directed the law minister to immediately get the stay order vacated and try to convince the court that the country was facing billions of rupee losses due to tax evasion.

He also termed the use of electronic voting machines (EVM) as ‘inevitable’ for free and fair elections in the country and directed that the cabinet should be updated every week about the progress on EVM and voting to overseas Pakistanis.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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