PM directs officials to curb smuggling, tax evasion in cigarette industry

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday directed officials to take immediate measures to curb smuggling and tax evasion in the cigarette industry.

He gave these directions while chairing a high-level meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday to end smuggling and tax evasion, as well as the illegal transportation of tobacco in the country.

The Prime Minister also instructed the Federal Board of Revenue to ensure the achievement of tax targets, set for the current fiscal year. He said tax evaders should be brought to justice. He said the system of tax collection should be improved by using modern technology and its better enforcement.

The meeting was informed that a track-and-trace system has been installed at most of the cigarette factories at the directions of the Prime Minister, which has led to a significant improvement in tax collection. It was told that 83.5 billion rupees were collected in this sector from July to December, which is 26 percent higher than the tax collected during the same period last year.

Shehbaz Sharif advised the FBR to devise a comprehensive strategy to improve tax collection so that tax evasion can be eliminated. He appreciated the efforts of the FBR officials and directed the bureau to further expedite its work to improve tax collection.

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