FBR de­ci­sion to im­ple­ment tax stamps on cig­a­rette packs lauded

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

IS­LAM­ABAD—Pres­i­dent Pak­istan Busi­ness­men and In­tel­lec­tu­als Fo­rum (PBIF) Mian Zahid Hus­sain on Mon­day lauded the de­ci­sion of the Fed­eral Board of Rev­enue (FBR) to im­ple­ment tax stamps on cig­a­rette packs to cur­tail tax eva­sion. “The de­ci­sion will help the Apex tax body to raise at least Rs 30 bil­lion in taxes while it will pave way for ex­pan­sion in the units of le­git­i­mate tax­pay­ers while at­tract­ing heavy for­eign in­vest­ment,” he said in a state­ment is­sued here today.

Mian Zahid Hus­sain said that de­spite a reg­u­la­tory regime in place to re­duce smok­ing in Pak­istan, the gov­ern­ment has not been able to achieve its de­sired re­sults but the re­cent de­ci­sion of FBR may dis­cour­age the trend. He said that il­licit cig­a­rette sec­tor con­tinue to in­crease its share in the mar­ket to over 23 per­cent hit­ting rev­enues and alarm le­git­i­mate play­ers in the in­dus­try who are forced to carry in­creas­ing tax bur­den. In­creas­ing reg­u­la­tory and fis­cal bur­den on the tax paid seg­ment, more and more con­sumers are switch­ing to the il­licit sub­sti­tutes of­fered by the largest tax evad­ing sec­tor in the country. He said that the il­licit sec­tor in­cludes smug­gled cig­a­rettes, coun­ter­feit prod­ucts, and tax evaded cig­a­rettes which cost around Rs 30 bil­lion per an­num.—APP

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