ISLAMABAD   -  The Senate Special Committee on Causes of Decline in Tax Collection of Tobacco Sector Wednesday directed Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to develop a comprehensive mechanism to control illicit trade of tobacco, which has been causing loss of billions of rupees to national exchequer.

The committee, which met here with Senator Kalsoom Parveen in the chair, also asked FBR to identifying the market share of different companies to determine  the tax and directed it to prepare a report on the subject and submit before the committee within 15 days.

The committee expressed deep concerns over the decline of Rs35 billion revenues from the tobacco industry despite the fact that the profit of the manufacturers had witnessed over 70 percent increase. The committee also observed that illicit trade of tobacco was harming the national economy badly and asked for taking strict measures to stop the illegal trade of tobacco.

They asked for proposing an equitable taxation for providing level playing fields to local as well as multi-national companies to stop the smuggling of the commodity, which was denting to the national economy in tune of billions of rupees annually.

Speaking on the occasion, Senator Muhammad Azam Khan Swati said that 3rd tier was introduced in the cigarettes manufacturing industry to enhance the tax collection, adding that after introduction of 3rd tier the tax collection witnessed drastic decrease.

He stressed the need for introducing tracking system  to check the illicit trade of tobacco and bringing the culprits to task as it was harming the national economy by tax evasion.

Meanwhile, FBR chairman apprised the meeting that 3rd tier of taxation in tobacco industry was introduced with the approval of the parliament, which was aiming at controlling the illegal trade of the commodity.

He said that FBR was determined to control the illegal trade and promoting the legal business activity by bringing reforms in its administration and policy reforms, adding that tracking system on cigarettes and supervised monitoring system on Green Leave Thresher would be launched to overcome the illegal movement of tobacco. Member Inland Revenue of FBR Dr Muhammad Iqbal said that the board intended to establish check posts in different areas to control the smuggling of tobacco.

The Committee also offered Fateha for the departed soul of late Begum Kulsoom Nawaz and prayed to Allah Mighty Allah rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant patience to the bereaved family members.

The Senators, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Dilawar Khan and Dr Ashok Kumar attended the meeting, where as senior officials of concerned departments were aslo present on the occasion.