Islamabad: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and representatives of provincial governments have initiated physical inspection of sugar stocks available with millers in a bid to check manipulation of data by millers to evade taxes.
The sugar millers also manipulate the figures of stock of sugar to seek permission of exports and had been receiving multi-billion rupees subsidy on export. At time of crushing, these millers had also blackmailed the government of PTI by delaying crushing season and managed to get arrears of Rs 2 billion subsidy.
According to media reports, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had unearthed tax evasion wroth around Rs2 billion by sugar millers by manipulating data of supplies and purchases in January this year. The collection of sales tax from sugar fell 15 percent during the last fiscal year, despite record production.
Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) Karachi, the largest revenue collecting unit of the FBR, initiated an exercise of examining the records of sugar mills and recovered Rs 500 million from sugar millers. The unit had taken action against almost all 30 sugar mills located in Sindh after significant decline of revenue from sugar sector in fiscal year 2017/18.
The Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Industries Razak Dawood in a meeting of Sugar Advisory Board held on Thursday desired that FBR may conclude this exercise in a week’s time so that the figures of two departments (Cane commissioner’s office and FBR) can be compared for better clarity and decision making.
The Adviser was apprised regarding the current stock of sugar by the representatives of Cane Commissioner’s Offices federal and provincial Representatives of Federal Board of Revenue stated that they have also initiated the proceedings for physically taking stock of the sugar available at respective mills. The Adviser desired that FBR may conclude this exercise in a week’s time so that the figures of two departments (Cane commissioner’s office and FBR) can be compared for better clarity and decision making.
The Adviser expressed satisfaction over the current figures of sugar availability and said that the upcoming season will hopefully not incur any stress on the consumers. He stressed upon the importance of providing relief to the general public by not increasing prices of sugar unreasonably as it is an everyday household commodity. Representative of State Bank of Pakistan informed the participants that export quota of 500,000 MT have been approved by State Bank of Pakistan.
Mr. Dawood encouraged the prospect of exporting sugar and was hopeful that the balance quota for export of sugar to China around would also be utilized to improve the balance of trade with China. The Adviser asked the participants to turn up with their proposals to devise a Long-term Sugar Policy to ensure that this sector grows more competitive, stable and consistent.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks and the Adviser assured all participants that he will be willing to take input on the proposed policy making by involved stakeholders. “Current government intends to devise a long term Sugar Policy to ensure consistency and stability amongst the sugar producers/manufacturers and the general public” said Adviser in a meeting of the Sugar Advisory Board took place under his Chairmanship.