IREN seizes non duty/tax paid cigarettes
ISLAMABAD – Inland Revenue Enforcement Network (IREN) Squads of FBR, in a counter-evasion operation, has seized non duty/tax paid cigarettes (approximately 14,798,000 sticks) worth Rs. 30,741,100, resulting in detection of evasion of taxes and duties of Rs. 26,184,100 in the month of August, 2021. Likewise, during the period from July to August, 2021, IREN had seized 26,030,500 illegal cigarettes worth Rs. 48,537,140. As such evasion of taxes and duties worth of Rs. 44,786,258 was detected. This action is in pursuance to directions of the Prime Minister against illicit sale of non-duty/tax-paid and counterfeit cigarettes. IREN was established in September 2019 with a Chief Coordinator, Central Field Coordinator and seven regional enforcement hubs all across Pakistan, tasked to conduct raids and seizures on the counterfeit and non-duty paid cigarettes. As a part of ongoing crackdown against illicit cigarette trade country wide, all IREN hubs intensified their operation against businesses dealing in non-duty paid and counterfeit cigarettes to save national exchequer from revenue loss. Dr Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed, chairman FBR, appreciated the performance of IREN staff. He informed that from November 1, 2021, Track & Trace System would be rolled out to cover tobacco manufacturing across the country, and that AJK government had approached Federal Board of Revenue to extend the scope of Track & Track System to cigarette manufacturing units located inside AJK territory. It is expected that over the next few months’ implementation of Track & Trace System and its extension into AJK, coupled with IREN’s valiant drive would help overcome the menace of counterfeit, illicit and non-tax paid cigarettes in the market.