Worried about illegal practices in the cigarette market and being forced to boost tax collection, the FBR has been holding a series of workshops on “Identification in Counterfeit Recognition” in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Featuring some of the main issues at a recent workshop in Islamabad, FBR Director General Inland Training and Research stated that Pakistan ranks amongst top nations vis-a-vis unlawful smoke trade.
In addition, he said unlawful practices caused a predicted Rs 40-50 billion yearly loss to the national exchequer, which is no small issue in a nation in which the tax-to-GDP rate appears at a dismal 10.2.
The smoking market is well-known to create big contribution to tax collections. Even as 18.5 percent of the activity in the market comprises both smuggled or duty-evaded goods, it remains an integral source of revenue for the FBR fetching 39 percent in Federal Excise Duty and 3.5 percent of entire tax collection.
Certainly, repairing the loopholes can even more boost collections. Towards that end, the workshop participants called for steps into two areas: reducing smuggling and illegal manufacturing of cigarettes.
So far as the very first problem is concerned, it is not peculiar to Pakistan although it is much severe in terms of comparative degree. Productive examples from some other nations display that performance-related incentives among customs officials enhance performance levels in controlling smuggling. A similar incentives-based system needs to be introduced here as well.
Counterfeiting features a greater problem. FBR officials at the workshop emphasized the desire to market skills in the identification of illicit and counterfeit cigarettes as a first step in that path. Which would likely be useful, yet not as a stand-alone measure.
The unsavory the fact is that imitation of more developed brands of all types of products, ranging from drugs to aerated drinks and toiletries, is rampant in this country. It’s not hard to recognize many of these fake goods.
Yet the task has gone on unchecked, in a few situations, at a considerable risk to public health. Certainly, the issue is not just the concerned officials’ inability to inform the variation between a real and a fake products, yet lack of will to do this. It’s great to find the FBR getting ready to chase smugglers and cheaters on the cigarette market.
It keeps to be seen though how long its solve to attain results lasts.
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Author: Alberta ClydeThis author has published 1 articles so far.