Raza Kazmi

ISLAMABAD: Building further on its outreach and awareness drive to maximize tax compliance, FBR is engaging with country’s youth enrolled at various public and private universities across Pakistan. It has already established collaboration with three key institutions in Islamabad which include Bahria University, NUST, and Quaid-i-Azam University. Moving farther on the road, it has reached an agreement with University of Central Punjab, Lahore, says a message received here Saturday.
In this regard, a simple ceremony was held on Friday at UCP Head Office, Lahore to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between University of Central Punjab Lahore, and Federal Board of Revenue (HQs), Islamabad. The MoU was signed by Dr. Nassar Ikram Pro Rector, UCP and Muhammad Asad Tahir, Chief FATE-Director Media, FBR.
The MoU is aimed to promote tax culture and awareness amongst the future generation through citizenship education programs. It encompasses establishment of Tax Awareness & Compliance Society (TACS) to function as a vibrant platform to ensure students’ participation in tax awareness and compliance activities by engaging them through awareness walks, declamation contests, focused group discussions, and dramatic performances etc.
Furthermore, the MoU also encapsulates enhancing employability skills of students through on-campus trainings in tax filing areas. This innovative initiative endeavors to capitalize on the ‘demographic dividend’ of the country and thus make our youth tax compliant citizens.
It was also agreed between the two organizations, that a customized module about taxation will be offered to students at BS(Hons) for degree programs such as Management, Accountancy, Economics, Finance, Law and Marketing. Training sessions and seminars will provide opportunities of hands-on learning for the students inclined to specialize in these areas of study.
Through mutual cooperation, both organizations have agreed to provide experiential learning opportunities to the students for grooming them responsible citizens. It was also mutually agreed that FBR will offer internship opportunities to students of UCP in order to enhance their employment opportunities.
The ceremony was witnessed by Rashid Javaid Rana, Secretary Facilitation and Taxpayers Education (FATE) FBR, Zubair Anwar, Head Centre for Professional Excellence, Dr. Hadia Awan, Dean Faculty of Law, Registrar, Raheel Bhatti and other senior faculty members.
Earlier, Muhammad Asad Tahir, Chief FATE-Director Media addressed students and faculty members about the scope & significance of tax compliance. It was followed by an engaging question & answer session, covering various aspects of taxation and initiatives launched by FBR. The session concluded on an interesting quiz program on tax related matters after which the winners were given away token prizes on behalf of Chairman and team FBR.
Meanwhile, building further on its countrywide anti-smuggling operations, Pakistan Customs (FBR) has seized narcotics worth Rs.115 Million at Torkham, Pak-Afghanistan Border. The contraband items included Heroin Powder, Hashish, Opium and Methamphetamine. The huge cache of Narcotics was concealed in a specially designed cavity in a Bedford Truck entering Pakistan from Afghanistan via Customs Station Torkham. When the cavity was opened with the help of welding machine, it led to the recovery of foreign origin Narcotics having an estimated value of Rs.115 million.
In an another operation, due to enhanced enforcement mechanism placed at border stations, a vehicle carrying foreign origin fire crackers, artfully concealed under the consignment of onions were seized. The estimated weight of fire crackers has been determined to be 5413 KGs having an estimated value of Rs. 10 million. In both the cases the culprits have been arrested and FIRs have been lodged under Customs Act, 1969. Further investigations in the cases are under way.
Federal Board of Revenue is following a policy of zero tolerance against smuggling and thereby has increased vigilance and surveillance of cargo movement across the border. Accordingly, years old SOPs have also been revised and additional staff is deployed to border stations including posting of staff at zero point to thwart any external threats to the country. Pakistan Customs (FBR) will continue its counter smuggling drive to support local industry and to safeguard the society from all external threats including narcotics.
Advisor to PM on Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin, has commended FBR for its successful anti-smuggling drive across Pakistan. Likewise, Chairman FBR/Secretary Revenue Division, Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed has appreciated Member Customs (Ops) FBR, Syed Muhammad Tariq Huda, in ensuring zero tolerance against smuggling of all shades and grades. He further reiterated his unflinching resolve to fight the menace of smuggling across the country in order to maximize tax compliance.