MUZAFFARABAD - The AJK government has decided to form a high level task force headed by the Finance Secretary to formulate and implement enforcement strategies to plug leakages of revenue from the cigarette manufacturing units located in the region.

Latif Akbar, Finance Minister, AJK, said this while speaking at a policy dialogue held in Muzaffarabad on illicit trade in tobacco sector of AJK.

He said that in order to effectively improve government revenue collection there was a need to plug the leakages which result in heavy losses to the exchequer. On the occasion, the Chief Secretary AJK issued instructions to law enforcement officers to ensure proper tax collection from cigarette manufacturing units located in AJK.  During the session, AJK government officials informed the participants that there were 14 cigarette manufacturing units located in AJK out of which 5 are operational. Some of the remaining units are either non-operational or already sealed by the government for violation of tax laws.  According to the data shared during the session, most of the cigarettes produced in these manufacturing units are then shipped to Pakistan and are widely available at prices.

Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB) has offered its full support to the AJK government in its efforts to curb leakages of revenue.