Implementation of Trace and Track system introduced by FBR is no doubt very important step of government and FBR. From the start of its development it has become controversial. The contract awarded for implementation of “Track & Trace” system has come under restraining / stay order of the Sindh High Court.
Reasons of Stay Order By Sindh High Court
The Stay Order was given because the FBR accepted a bid that is at least 52% more expensive than the principles of transparency. Another allegation in litigation is that the winning bidder has a conflict of interest because he trades in those sectors for which purpose the FBR implementing the trace and track system for the purpose of tax collection. This delay has already delayed the implementation of the project schedule.
The FBR argues that this happened to the winning bidder because he had a better technical score, but we will have to wait and see if the court accepts this argument.
Previous FBR Press Release
Previously, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has already given a press release accordingly:
” Federal Board of Revenue has issued an explanation on the the news item published by a section of press on 20th January. About delay in the implementation of FBR’s Track & Trace System to control illicit tobacco trade. FBR has clarified that a license has been issued to M/s NRTC on 14th October, 2019. Through a transparent and fair process of bidding which is strictly in accordance with the PPRA Rules, 2004 and Licensing Rules, 2019.
However, the award of license to lowest bidder i.e. M/s NRTC was challenged by some unsuccessful bidders i.e. M/s SICPA Ink in Sindh High Court and M/s Reliance IT Solutions (Pvt) Ltd and M/s NIFT Consortium in Islamabad High Court. Since, the Honorable Court has granted status quo and the matter is sub-judice before the aforesaid courts. Therefore, there is no delay on the part of FBR. The process of implementation of Track and Trace System will be resumed as and when the stay order is vacated by the Honorable Court. “FBR Press Release | Matter of Trace & track System Implementation |
Sindh High Court Suspends Contract
The Sindh High Court has suspended the award of an agreement worth Rs 25 billion. Which was given by the federal government last week under the condition of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). To monitor the production of four tax evading sectors.
The court granted the restraining order after bidders raised serious questions. About the handling of the procedure and allegedly compromised transparency in a five-year deal worth at least Rs 25 billion. ۔
“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,” according to a single-judge interim order.Court Interim Order
Date of Next Hearing
The court issued notices to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the federal government, fixing the case hearing for April 5.