FBR Launches Mega Operation Against Sugar Mills to Examine Stock Position

FBR Launches Mega Operation Against Sugar Mills to Examine Stock Position

In response to the ongoing sugar crisis in Pakistan, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has initiated a comprehensive operation targeting sugar mills across the country.

This operation aims to assess the stock positions and supply activities of these mills to address concerns related to hoarding and tax evasion.

Official sources have confirmed that the FBR issued directives on Saturday, invoking Section 40B of the Sales Tax Act, 1990. The instructions mandate the deployment of Inland Revenue officials to sugar mills for the purpose of closely monitoring sugar stock levels and dispatches.

The timing of this operation is crucial as Pakistan grapples with a significant sugar crisis, marked by a sharp increase in retail sugar prices, soaring by approximately 100 percent to around Rs 185 per kilogram. In an effort to stabilize the domestic market, the federal cabinet recently re-imposed a ban on sugar exports. Despite these measures, sugar prices have continued to rise, prompting the FBR to take proactive steps.

Sources within the FBR reveal that such interventions are not unprecedented, with tax authorities historically deploying officials to sugar mill premises annually to prevent tax evasion and hoarding. Section 40B of the Sales Tax Act, 1990 empowers the FBR to assign officers of Inland Revenue to registered persons or specific categories of individuals for monitoring the production, sale of taxable goods, and stock positions.

The latest instructions from the FBR direct Chief Commissioners of Inland Revenue to ensure that the teams assigned to each sugar mill conduct an initial stocktaking. These teams are required to submit a mandatory report to the FBR, providing crucial insights into the stock positions and supply activities of the sugar mills.

The FBR’s move reflects a proactive approach to address the challenges posed by the sugar crisis and underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability in the sugar industry. By closely monitoring the operations of sugar mills, the FBR aims to curb potential tax evasion, deter hoarding, and contribute to stabilizing sugar prices in the domestic market.

The nationwide operation signals the government’s determination to take swift and effective measures to address economic challenges and safeguard the interests of consumers. The FBR’s efforts align with broader initiatives aimed at promoting fair business practices, preventing market manipulation, and fostering a more transparent and accountable economic environment.