‘Trace & track’ system to check illegitimate cigarette manufacturers


Zubair Qureshi


Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is moving ahead towards installing software on the premises of legitimate cigarette manufacturers to gauge real production through pasting of stamps in a bid to stop sale of illicit brands into market.
Project Director, Trace and Track system said this at a session “Trace and Track System of Tobacco Products” organized by Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) Wednesday.
He further explained the broader contours of the system revealing the semi-visible security features shall be available to the wholesalers and distributors and the field formations shall be able to authenticate the genuineness of any tax stamp.
Malik Imran from Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Pakistan office, said that the trace and track system is a digital solution whereby the production of goods is digitally monitored in near real time. In order to check the evasion of duty and taxes, the revenue authorities around the world are using this system. He added that almost in all the European and Far Eastern and even in some African countries, the system is installed to monitor the excisable goods specially tobacco. In Pakistan we also need to implement this system.
Dr Ziauddin Islam, Technical head of tobacco control cell at the ministry of National Health Services (NHS), said that the broader contours of the trace & track system also revealed that the system would ensure full government control and monitoring of production lines and systematic authentication and validation of unique codes for each manufactured products.
He further added trace & track system would ensure systematic recognition and verification of stock keeping units and real time collection of production data and actualized consolidated transmission to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
Sajjad Ahmad Cheema, Executive Director, SPARC said that trace & track system would also ensure uninterrupted and autonomous data collection on production lines and non-intrusive equipment with no impact on production speed and production capacity.
He added more that trace & track system would ensure encrypted communication with central database, remote monitoring of tax stamps application equipment, inspection through handheld wireless electronic devices and online activation of codes.
Ch. Sana Ullah Ghuman, General Secretary, Pakistan Heart Association (PANAH), said that trace & track system would ensure provisions of consumer authentication through smart phones, automated forecasting of tax revenues, production control reports, risk assessment, behaviour and compliance management.
He further added under the trace & track system, the database shall be designed with backup mirror sites, disaster recovery plan and redundancy for data protection and database shall collect automatically all production carrying the tax stamps, and the field inspection data.
Zahid Shafiq, Programme Manager, Human Development Foundation (HDF), Faisal Rehman, Senior Journalist, Muhammad Javed, Project Manager, Tobacco Control Cell, also spoke on the occasion.

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