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AJK Authorities Crack Down on Cigarette Tax Evasion, Seize Illegal Goods

Azad Jammu & Kashmir’s excise and taxation department, in collaboration with local law enforcement, has intensified efforts against tax evasion within the cigarette industry. Under the directive of the AJK Prime Minister, large-scale enforcement actions have been launched to combat tax evasion in cigarette manufacturing factories across the region.

AJK Authorities Crack Down on Cigarette Tax Evasion, Seize Illegal Goods

Key Details:

  • Joint teams comprising excise and taxation officials along with police are conducting rigorous operations targeting tax evasion in the cigarette sector.
  • A joint investigation team, formed by the Interior Ministry of AJK, has been tasked with recommending further measures to address tax evasion within the tobacco industry.
  • Recent raids have targeted warehouses and offices of prominent cigarette manufacturers including National Tobacco Company, Walton Tobacco Company, Chinar Tobacco Company, and Warna Tobacco Company in Mirpur, Bhimber, and Barnala.

Seizures and Legal Actions:

  • Authorities confiscated significant amounts of raw materials and finished cigarette products during raids:
  • A warehouse belonging to Watan Tobacco Company yielded 3,230 bags of raw tobacco, among other items.
  • The warehouse of the National Tobacco Company in Bhimber was found with 3,811 cartons of illegal cigarettes and over 384,000 kilograms of raw tobacco.
  • Walton Tobacco Company’s premises in Barnala yielded illegal cigarettes and materials for manufacturing.
  • A rented house linked to the National Tobacco Company was raided, resulting in the seizure of various cigarette-related items and raw materials.

Impact and Concerns:

  • The ongoing tax evasion in the cigarette sector is causing significant revenue losses for AJK tax authorities, amounting to billions of rupees annually.
  • These illicitly manufactured cigarettes are being smuggled into various areas of Punjab, exacerbating the issue of tax evasion.
  • Despite the deadline passing, the implementation of the Track and Trace System in cigarette factories in AJK has not been achieved, raising concerns about regulatory compliance and enforcement.

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Conclusion:

The crackdown on cigarette tax evasion reflects the AJK government’s commitment to upholding fiscal regulations and combating illicit activities in the tobacco industry. With continued enforcement actions and stricter regulatory measures, authorities aim to mitigate revenue losses and curb the smuggling of illegal cigarettes, ensuring compliance with taxation laws and promoting public health.

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