The Sindh High Court (SHC) maintained the stay granted to a company against the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Monday, restraining the tax authorities from implementing the track and trace system for tobacco products, cement, sugar, and fertilizer.
Propakistani has learnt that the hearing of the case had been held at the SHC on Monday and that it had maintained the stay order that had been granted to the company and has adjourned the hearing until 13 April. The SHC has also directed the FBR to submit its reply by the next date of the hearing and had already issued a stay order on 12 March in a suit filed by the SICPA, which is one of the aggrieved bidders.
Earlier, it had added according to a single-judge interim order that “Till the next date of hearing, defendants are restrained from taking any step towards implementing or processing with the contract subject matter of this suit and license awarded to the defendant No. 5 under the IFL (instruction for license) for providing track and trace system”.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has already canceled the hearing of a case against the selection of a successful company for the implementation of a track and trace system for tobacco products, cement, sugar, and fertilizer that was scheduled to be held on 7 April due to the pandemic situation in the federal capital.
It had issued notices to the FBR and the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) to submit their comments for the selection of the successful company.
So far, three aggrieved bidders have approached the SHC and the IHC after the dismissal of their applications under Rule 48 of the Public Procurement Rules 2004 by the Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC) of the FBR on the selection of M/s AJCL (Pvt) Limited for the implementation of the track and trace system.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had addressed a meeting of the federal cabinet last month and stated that the FBR’s track and trace system is crucial to curbing tax evasion in the country.
He said, “The board had assured the government that the new system would be in place by June 1 but now we have been told that the Sindh High Court has issued a stay order”.
While directing the Minister for Law to inform the SHC about the situation to get the stay order vacated, he added, “Until this system is in place, we cannot stop tax evasion”.