KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) signed a contract with the consortium on Friday to operationalize the ‘Track & Trace Solution’ on the tobacco, cement, sugar and fertilizer sectors starting July 1, aiming to accelerate the digitization of economic activity, increase forecast and limit revenue fake products on the market.
FBR said that 45 million tonnes of cement, more than four billion sticks of tobacco cigarettes, four million tonnes of sugar and 30 million tonnes of fertilizer would be included in the tax net.
A consortium consisting of AJCL (Pvt) Limited, Authentix Inc. USA, and Mitas Corporation were declared the “most profitable offer” by FBR based on the combined highest scores according to the 2019 Licensing Rules and the 2004 PPRA rules.
New systems for the tobacco, cement, sugar and fertilizer sectors starting July 1
“A contract has been signed between the Federal Revenue Council (FBR) and AJCL together with its principal partner Authentix Inc. USA and Mitas Corporation South Africa to operationalize Traceability Solutions in the Tobacco, Cement, Sugar and Fertilizer Sector, ” said a tweet from the official FBR Twitter account.
The contracts were signed by FBR (Operation IR) Member Dr Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed, Authentix CEO Kevin McKenna, Sten Bertelsen of Mitas Corporation, and AJCL CEO Omer Jaffer on behalf of their respective organizations.
“This system will increase tax revenue, reduce counterfeiting and prevent the smuggling of illicit goods,” FBR said in another tweet.
“Track and Trace involves implementing a robust, national, electronic production volume monitoring system by affixing more than 5 billion tax stamps to various products at the production stage, which will enable FBR to track goods across the supply chain,” it added. Dr Ashfaq Ahmed said FBR will work closely with the AJCL consortium during the launch of the program in various industries on an aggressive schedule.
Kevin McKenna says the program will help provide a transformational boost to the local economy, increase revenue and make the tax collection process more transparent.
Omer Jaffer said the consortium hopes to work with FBR to configure and implement the various components of the solution.
In an earlier announcement, FBR had said that installing a Track and Trace System in identified sectors would be a game changer to increase revenue and limit counterfeit products in the market.
FBR expects to start placing UIMs (tax stamps) on products from various sectors starting in July this year.
FBR’s Domestic Revenue Enforcement Network has confiscated 11.7 million sticks of cigarettes from various brands valued at Rs45 million nationwide so duties and taxes worth Rs24.4 million were avoided.
“Likewise, the Directorate General of Customs Intelligence and Investigation, during the operation, confiscated a large quantity of smuggled cigarettes and gatka from Bolton Market, Karachi on MA Jinnah Road, worth Rs80.1 million,” FBR announced in a tweet on Friday.
The Domestic Revenue Enforcement Network and the Directorate General of Intelligence and Customs Investigation have stepped up operations across the country against illegally smuggled and unpaid cigarettes, said FBR, adding that as per instructions from the prime minister and the chairman of FBR, operations are underway to curb illicit trade cigarette.
Published in Dawn, March 6, 2021
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