The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved on 8th February PKR350 million (US$2.2 million) for the installation of Video Analytics Surveillance (VAS) systems at sugar mills to monitor their operations and prevent tax evasion, according to local press reports.
Pakistan – Surveillance of sugar production in real-time at Sindh’s 29 sugar mills by the tax department in advance stage [Full subscriber]
The tax department Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has deputed its officials at sugar mills as a stopgap measure until it develops real-time access to video monitoring of crushing and other production processes. This is to stem tax evasion, according to local press reports.
In order to introduce transparency in the sugar sector, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) to operationalize Video Analytics Rules, 2020, that will effectively monitor output via an electronic device.
The government allowed on 28th July the import of 300,000 metric tonnes of sugar in anticipation of a shortage.
The reduction in the cane acreage in Pakistan has invariably affected sugar production, and with it the availability of molasses for ethanol production, according to press reports.
Politicians close to Prime Minister Imran Khan have been linked to the soaring sugar prices, according to a government report.
Pakistan – Punjab government proposes stiff penalties for millers straying from their obligations [Registered]
Amidst sugar shortage, hoarding, high sugar prices in the domestic market and millers complaining of high cane prices and with it shutting down their factories, the Punjab government has intervened by declaring all illegal activities carried out within the industry as “non-bailable crimes” proposing stiff penalties, according to the local press Tribune.
Sugar millers in Pakistan have joined hands and closed their production units in an apparent attempt to push down prices of sugarcane, which have gone above the support price, breaching the production cost of sugar, according to local press reports.
Sugar cane production in Sindh, the second major sugar-producing region, dropped from 21.625 million tonnes (mlt) in 2017/18 to 15.930 mlt in 2018/19. The respective sugar output was 2.2814 mlt and 1.7193 mlt.
The World Bank and Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) have analysed the tax gap of three powerful sectors — sugar, cement and steel — and estimated that tax collection could go up by PKR100 billion -150 billion (US$636 million-954 million) on per annum basis with realisation of true potential.