FBR to Use Software to Stop Illicit trade of Tobacco Products

Group photo of the participants of a Session on Trace & Track system of Tobacco Products held in Islamabad. Photo: TD

ISLAMABAD, 31 July, 2019: In order to stop illicit trade of tobacco products, speakers at a seminar arranged by Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) in Islamabad, said that track and trace system for tobacco Products is to be in-placed by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

Mr. Tariq Hussain Sheikh, Project Director, Track and Trace system said that the 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.  He further added that the broader contours of the track & trace system revealed that 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.

Mr. Malik Imran from Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Pakistan office, said that the track and trace 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 track & trace 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 track & trace 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 track & trace 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 track & trace 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 track & trace 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 track & trace 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.

Mr. Zahid Shafiq, Program Manager, Human Development Foundation (HDF) and Mr. Muhammad Javed, Project Manager, Tobacco Control Cell, also spoke at the occasion.