ISLAMABAD: Registering a significant growth in revenue collection from the Sugar Sector through implementation of Track & Trace System (TTS), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has collected Rs. 32.43 Billion in the first six months (July-December) of current Financial Year 2021-22 as against Rs. 29.30 Billion collected in the same period last year, achieving 11 % growth.
This encouraging outcome of the digital monitoring of Sugar Sector shows that TTS is contributing significantly to the prevention of revenue loss and resulting in increased revenue collection.
The installation process of TTS equipment was undertaken in October and November, 2021 and all the Sugar Mills were delivered applicators along with tax stamps to be affixed on each sugar bag. FBR vide STGO No.5 of 2021 had notified that no Sugar Bags would be allowed to be taken out from a production site or a manufacturing facility without affixation of tax stamps and Unique Identification Marking (UIMs). However, TTS was formally inaugurated by the honorable Prime Minister of Pakistan on 23rd November, 2021.
In order to ensure enforcement of movement of sugar bags with tax stamps, Inland Revenue Enforcement Network (IREN) was entrusted with the task to combat tax evasion in the Sugar Sector. Regional Enforcement hubs all across Pakistan were tasked to conduct raids on the un-stamped/non-tax paid sugar. As a result, all IREN hubs intensified their operations against supply chain operators to ensure the implementation of TTS in letter and spirit.
In this regard, the Directorate of I&I (IR), Hyderabad visited various sugar dealers in Hyderabad on 27th November, 2021 and found a stock of 172 sugar bags manufactured by M/s Chamber Sugar Mills lying in the premises of M/s Gulzar & Co without Tax Stamps. The same unstamped bags were taken into custody by IREN team which created deterrence in the market. Since then more than 65 raids have been conducted by Regional IREN Hubs of Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Quetta and Peshawar in various cities and towns across the country but no sugar bags were found without tax stamps.
It is pertinent to mention that Federal Board of Revenue initiated the implementation of Track and Trace System (TTS) in September, 2021 immediately after the vacation of stay by the honorable Sindh High Court on 20th August, 2021. Keeping in view the approaching crushing season, FBR decided to implement TTS in Sugar Sector in order to digitally monitor the production of entire industry.
The site surveys/factory visits were completed by the FBR’s licensee in the month of September, 2021 and Tri-Partite Agreements (TPAs) were signed with all the 79 operational sugar mills of Punjab, Sindh and KPK in October, 2021 resulting in 100 % coverage of Sugar Sector.
Advisor to PM on Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin, has commended FBR for successful implementation of this innovative digital intervention, resulting in sizeable increase in tax revenue. Likewise, Chairman FBR/Secretary Revenue Division, Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed has appreciated the outstanding performance of IREN squads in ensuring the desired compliance by the Sugar Sector which has started paying dividends. He further added that TTS was one of the key interventions introduced by FBR to push its ongoing drive for digitization to achieve transparency and thereby maximize tax compliance.
Meanwhile, as a sequel to E-Kutcheries held regularly to comply with the directions of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)/Secretary Revenue Division, Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed held yet another Weekly E-Kutcheri at FBR headquarters Friday to listen to the complaints and concerns of taxpayers.
This is the third week of holding E-Kutcheri by the Chairman FBR after he decided to hold it on every Friday to expedite redressing of grievances of taxpayers. He listened to the complaints of the taxpayers and issued on-spot directions for immediate resolution of complaints. He also advised the taxpayers to visit their nearest RTO and the Collectorate of Customs for redressing of any problem confronted by them.
The Chairman FBR appreciated the suggestions put forth by the taxpayers and assured them that their valued input would be duly considered for formulation of tax policies and initiatives for taxpayers’ facilitation. He reaffirmed that FBR was making all out efforts to facilitate the taxpayers.
The Chairman FBR has already issued specific directions to all Field Formations for according top priority to the grievances and concerns of female taxpayers and those belonging to remote and marginalized areas of Pakistan. Needless to add that the weekly E-Kutcheri being held by Chairman FBR on regular basis will not only contribute significantly to the timely redressing of the grievances of taxpayers but it will also keep a strong check on the performance of the Field Formations.
Chairman FBR has already instructed all field formations to resolve the outstanding issues of taxpayers and made it clear that any negligence in this regard will not be tolerated.