Health activists laud FBR's success in curbing smuggled cigarettes

In a commendable display of efficiency, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has received praise from health activists for their proactive stance against the smuggling of cigarettes. Chairman Asim Ahmad's implementation of the Track and Trace System, along with the Directorate General of Customs Intelligence's ongoing crackdown on smuggled cigarettes, has earned appreciation from these activists.

The Directorates of Customs Intelligence in Karachi, Multan, and Peshawar recently conducted separate anti-smuggling operations on June 6 and 7, resulting in the seizure of millions of rupees' worth of smuggled cigarettes. Among the confiscated brands were Dunhill, Pine Mini, Royal Business, Speed Blue, Benson & Hedges, and Inhale. The cumulative value of the seized cigarettes in these operations amounts to Rs. 79 million, with a total of 1,780,000 cigarettes recovered. These figures contribute to the overall tally for the current fiscal year, which now stands at 39,187,000 cigarettes with a combined worth of Rs. 1.093 billion.

Chairman Asim Ahmad of the FBR and the Director-General of Customs Intelligence expressed their congratulations to the Customs Intelligence teams in Karachi, Multan, and Peshawar for their successful operations. They also expressed their optimism that the momentum of anti-smuggling efforts would be sustained with even greater dedication.

The recent actions undertaken by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) against the smuggling of cigarettes deserve applause. Chairman Asim Ahmad's implementation of the Trace and Control System, combined with the relentless efforts of the Directorate General of Customs Intelligence, demonstrates the commitment of the FBR in combatting this illegal trade.

The seizure of smuggled cigarettes worth millions of rupees in recent anti-smuggling operations conducted by the Directorates of Customs Intelligence in Karachi, Multan, and Peshawar is a significant achievement. Such actions not only safeguard public health but also contribute to curbing the illegal trade that evades taxes, thereby impacting the national economy.

Health advocates while appreciating the efforts of FBR has at the same time suggested FBR to be conscious of MNCs paid reports where they reveals inflated and exaggerated data regarding Illicit tobacco and on the bases of which try to get tax cuts.

The representative of Capital calling Hassan Shahzad said that MNCs always speak about illict tobacco sector, however, the confiscated brands belong tho their own companies.

By thwarting these illegal activities, they not only protect public health but also contribute to the broader goals of revenue generation and upholding the rule of law.

The FBR's commitment to maintaining the momentum of anti-smuggling operations is vital. Continued efforts, supported by enhanced cooperation among relevant agencies, will be crucial in eradicating this illegal trade completely. Additionally, public awareness campaigns and stricter penalties for offenders can act as deterrents, preventing individuals from engaging in such activities in the first place.

The fight against cigarette smuggling requires a multi-pronged approach involving collaboration between government agencies, public support, and strict enforcement of regulations.

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