Home Latest News P.M. Sharif Seeks Rapid Implementation of Track and Trace System

P.M. Sharif Seeks Rapid Implementation of Track and Trace System

In separate meeting, premier urges media to support government efforts for prosperity, development

by Staff Report

Photo courtesy PID

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday ordered immediate action against tax defaulters and evaders, and directed authorities concerned to constitute a committee to identify, within seven days, hurdles in implementing a Trace and Track System (TTS) for the tobacco, sugar, cement and fertilizer industries.

Chairing a meeting on the implementation of TTS, he questioned the inordinate delay in achieving the initiative, stressing the system should have been functional for all major industries within the past two years. According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, he directed the removal of all legal impediments to the enforcement of TTS.

Sharif said the TTS should be enforced at all production lines in cement factories, adding any site that resists this should immediately be sealed. He said TTS could benefit the country in curbing “counterfeit and substandard products,” and ordered strict action against fake and unregistered cigarettes.

The meeting’s participants were informed the TTS was fully functional in 14 tobacco factories, while 12 others had been sealed for non-compliance. They were further told the system was functional in all fertilizer industries, with authorities concerned noting some technical issues hampered its implementation in sugar and cement factories.

During the meeting, the prime minister also slammed smuggling, noting it was responsible for massive losses to the exchequer. He sought a comprehensive digital strategy to automate the entire system and ordered authorities concerned to curb smuggling. He said law enforcement agencies should assist the FBR in achieving this. According to the statement, the meeting was informed raids were underway at godowns across the country to curb smuggling.

Apart from the prime minister, federal ministers Muhammad Aurangzeb and Ahad Cheema; Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Jehanzaib Khan; FBR Chairman Malik Amjad Zubair Tiwana and other senior officials also attended the meeting.

Fake news

Separately, the prime minister met a delegation of the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), emphasizing the pivotal role of mainstream media in countering fake news. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, he urged broadcast media to support the government’s efforts for the development and prosperity of the country.

Noting media was the fourth pillar of the state, he said electronic media’s role is crucial in the development and progress of the society and the ideological training of the people. Protection of media persons is the responsibility of the state, he said, and hoped the objective reporting of media would continue to play its role in strengthening and stabilizing democracy in the country.

Acknowledging that the biggest challenging facing his government was the economy, he told the delegation that efforts were underway to privatize loss-making state-owned enterprises; enact institutional reforms; and bring about internal and external investment.

Sharif said a committee would soon submit a report on reducing government expenditures, noting the federal cabinet had voluntarily foregone its salary and other perks in the national interest. He said the government would hire international experts to fully digitize the Federal Board of Revenue, adding leading taxpayers, exporters, and women entrepreneurs would be acknowledged at the government level.

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