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Track & trace system vital to avoid massive tax evasion: PM Khan

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed for introducing a track and trace system to avoid massive tax evasion in major sectors such as sugar, cement, fertilizers and tobacco industry.
Chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet on Tuesday, he pointed out that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been striving to bring this system over the last fifteen years but every time their efforts are sabotaged.
The Prime Minister said only two companies are paying taxes in the cigarette industry whilst 40 percent of cigarettes are being sold in black. He said the FBR had assured to roll out the track and trace system by July this year but now the Sindh High Court has given a stay on it.
He directed the Law Minister to apprise the high court of the actual situation to get the stay vacated as the tax evasion cannot be checked without automation. He noted, “Due to tax evasion, we have to rely on indirect taxes which leads to price hike.”
The Premier said that Rs400 billion tax was imposed only on the sugar industry during the last five years. He directed Farrukh Habib to hold consultations with the attorney general.
On electoral reforms, the Prime Minister said electronic voting machines have become inevitable to ensure transparency in the elections. He said that the cabinet should regularly be updated about the progress made towards this end as well as giving the right of franchise to overseas Pakistanis.
The PM and the cabinet members expressed concerns over the rise in Covid-19 cases in Pakistan. The Premier directed relevant authorities to ensure the implementation of coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs).