ECC approves track & trace system enforcement to stop tax evasion

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Exempts duties on import of auto disable syringes: Okays tender for procurement of 120,000MT wheat

Islamabad

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved enforcement of Track & Trace system to strengthen the Inland Revenue Enforcement Network (IREN) to combat tax evasion and leakages of duties payable on specified goods.

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin presided over the ECC meeting at the Finance Division on Thursday.

The finance minister stated that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will create goodwill and avoid harassment in enforcement of rules and regulations for collection of taxes and duties.

At the same time, the FBR will take firm action to prevent tax evasion and broaden the tax base to contribute to the national exchequer.

He said a proper system of check and balance will be followed. The minister urged the FBR to use the latest technology-based solutions for tax collection to reduce reliance on traditional enforcement methodology.

Earlier, the chairman FBR presented a summary to strengthen IREN to combat tax evasion and leakages of duties payable on specified goods through enforcement of the Track & Trace system.

The IREN will also check the goods supplied out of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) areas for ascertaining validity and conformity.

The ECC considered and approved the summary presented by the Ministry of National Health Services regarding exemption from taxes and duties on import of auto disable syringes and raw materials-products for local manufacturing of auto disable syringes, enabling transformation from conventional to auto disable syringes.

On the recommendation of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, the ECC approved the tender for procurement of 120,000 metric tonnes of wheat in compliance with the directive of the Cabinet to procure four million metric tonnes of wheat to build strategic reserves during the current financial year.

The ECC urged the Trade Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) chairman to expedite efforts for importing wheat to stabilise local prices and to ensure smooth supply of wheat across the country.

The committee also directed the TCP chairman to present a detailed report to the adviser on commerce regarding the timeline of wheat import and other requisite details at the earliest.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs presented a summary regarding revision in tariff enabling Fauji Oil Terminal & Distribution Company (FOTCO) to meet operating and maintenance expenses which were approved in the year 2000, for the period of the 20 years, but not revised.

After due deliberation, the ECC approved the revision in tariff for FOTCO, locked for 5 years, to be paid in equivalent Pakistani rupees.

The ECC constituted a sub-committee comprising representatives of Ministry of Petroleum, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), Pakistan State Oil (PSO), M/s AF Ferguson, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Finance Division to be headed by Chairman Deputy Chairman Planning to decide about tariff differential accumulated between 2012 to 2020.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs tabled another summary regarding relaxation to 19 subsidiary companies of PNSC under the Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Rules.

The ECC approved relaxation in rules till June, 2021 with a direction to explore the option of formulating independent boards for the subsidiaries to be headed by CEO as per the principles of corporate governance.

Minister for National Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Minister for Privatisation Muhammad Mian Soomro, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Zaidi, Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib, Special Assistant to the PM on Power and Petroleum Tabish Gauhar, Governor State Bank Dr Reza Baqir, federal secretaries, FBR chairman and other senior officers participated in the meeting. —TLTP

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