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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday terming FBR’s automated Track & Trace system crucial to check mass tax evasion directed the Law Minister to work on getting vacated the stay order by the Sindh High Court.

Chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet here, the Prime Minister asked Barrister Farogh Naseem to “convince the Sindh High Court that the non-imposition of the automated system would incur loss of billions to the country”.

The Sindh High Court issued a stay order on FBR’s proposed tax mechanism, for which the Prime Minister mentioned that FBR had given assurance to roll out the system by June.

He said FBR had been making efforts for last 15 years to implement the Track & Trace (T&T) System, however regretted that the move was “sabotaged” every time.

Imran Khan said big sector of economy including tobacco, cement and sugar were witnessing mass tax evasion, adding that sugar industry alone did not pay the tax of Rs 400 billion in five years.

In tobacco industry, he said, only 19 percent of the tax was paid by two big companies while the 40 percent was being evaded resulting in loss of billions to the country.

He said tax evasion led to imposition of indirect taxes by the government which inflated the prices of commodities of everyday use.

The FBR’s Track & Trace system aims at providing minimum human interface, preventing leakage of revenue, under-reporting sales of specified goods and to ensure proper payment of duty and taxes.

On Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), the Prime Minister said the system was important to ensure transparency in general polls and check corrupt practice of vote-purchase.

He termed provision of online voting for overseas Pakistan a priority of his government and stressed an effective strategy for its implementation.

The Prime Minister sought progress reports in every cabinet meeting on the matters of installation of EVM and voting process for overseas Pakistanis.

The federal cabinet discussed several development projects on the agenda.