NAB has identified the cigarette industry as its next target, as The Regional Board of National Accountability Bureau Rawalpindi has notified the headquarters of NAB about the tax evasion carried out by the cigarette industry – amounting to around 60 Billion Rupees.
The board had reviewed the case in a meeting held place, and it was decided upon the meeting that the matter should be highlighted by NAB, as the amount concerning the tax evasion was quite significant.
The Auditor general of Pakistan (AGP) has also made some bold statements – saying that the cigarette industry is responsible for the tax evasion which amounts to Rs. 33 Billion. Furthermore, the government has also taken some action as there has been the removal of six members coming from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) liable for the revenue loss.
The FBR has indeed failed to meet its revenue target when it comes to the cigarette industry, which has led to losses amounting to 60 Billion Rupees, over the course of the past three years. The FBR chairman has identified the issue, and has stated that the board is indeed taking action against those who might be responsible for the error, and as per the chairman, there has, and is going on a removal of members due to the error.
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The Public Accounts Committee had also spoken on the matter, as it went on to suggest to the AGP that there should be a special audit conducted due to the huge decline in tax collection from the cigarette industry.
The AGP has been made aware or the fact that amongst the most popular multinational and expensive cigarette companies had included its popular brands in the lowest tax tier – in an attempt to increase the sale numbers and also have a decrease in its tax payments by around fifty percent.
Indeed, the Federal excise duty on cigarettes decreased from Rs. 33, all the way to Rs. 16 per pack. While the revenue of the cigarette manufacturing companies had managed to increase by up to 118 percent, the revenue collected by FBR managed to reach only around Rs. 87 billion, while the target clearly was for around that of Rs. 120 billion.