The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has urged the Inland Revenue and Customs Field Formations to beef up the enforcement measures to control the trade of counterfeit, non-duty paid and smuggled cigarettes.
According to a press release, the FBR chairman has issued a directive in pursuit of the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to curb the menace of trade of counterfeit and non-duty paid cigarettes, which are not only hazardous to the health of general public but is also causing huge loss to the public exchequer.
The chairman has directed to expedite the administrative and enforcement measures against the trade of counterfeit, non-duty paid and smuggled cigarettes.
Meanwhile, between July 2020 and January 2021, the IREN network conducted 65 raids across the country recovered counterfeit cigarette sticks worth Rs97.5 million. The authorities have recovered Rs2.2 million in penalties and tax and legal proceedings are underway to recover the remaining amount. During the same period, Pakistan Customs has seized smuggled sticks of cigarettes worth Rs549 million, the press release added.
Similarly, Pakistan Customs has taken a number of preventive measures to curb smuggling of cigarettes in particular, and other contrabands goods in general. The Customs staff posted at airports, sea ports and land customs stations have been instructed to be more vigilant to curb smuggling of cigarettes. Anti-smuggling squads, mobile units and staff posted at check posts have been sensitised to interdict smuggling of cigarettes.
Following specific information, the Customs staff raided warehouses and recovered a huge quantity of cigarettes and other smuggled goods, the press release said.
The auction rules have been modified thus imposing ban on the auction of seized smuggled cigarettes and have been included in the list of goods to be destroyed w.e.f. July 23, 2020.
Trainings have been arranged in coordination with leading cigarette manufacturers to educate the Customs staff about latest trends in smuggling of cigarettes and also sharing of information for effective seizure of cigarettes, concluded the press release.