NGO/Civil Society lobby to support and promote illicit tyre, tobacco and spice industry

Theses organizations mostly get funding from the illicit sector to counter the tax paying segment. They receive more than $1 billion in funding every year: Sources

NGO/Civil Society lobby to support and promote illicit tyre/tobacco and spice industry

Civil Societies and Non-Governmental Organizations are often misleading governments and policymakers with their funded campaigns to achieve their national and international agendas in Pakistan.

More than 15 NGO’s act against local organizations, sabotaging national interest and supporting tax evading sector. Pakistan’s illicit sector evades more than PKR1trillion in tax, The global research institute Ipsos in its report has identified the top five sectors in terms of tax evasion through illicit trade. These sectors include tea, tobacco, tyre and automobile lubricants, pharmaceuticals and real estate.

Relevant Read: Tax-evading Tobacco Sector Runs Anti-Pakistan Agenda with Local Farmers

These organizations demonstrate that they work for welfare, development, and advocacy about regulation systems for citizens. However, the lack of proper monitoring of these organizations has a very serious impact on the welfare and economy of the country.

It is worth mentioning that The government refused to register 42 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), in February 2019, due to objections raised by the agencies as Pakistan tightens control over inflow of foreign funding after being placed on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list at that time.

According to the interior ministry, the government is following a very strict procedure for the registration of national and international NGOs including clearance from intelligence and law-enforcement agencies. At the same time, Economic Affairs Division also deals with international organizations.

However, the government cannot legally regulate and monitor all non-profit organizations (NPOs) as mostly around 15,000 NPOs are registered and governed under provincial laws.

According to details, besides federally and provincially regulated NPOs and INGOs, there is a large number of unregistered charities operating in the country whose exact number is not known.

Despite less resource availability or access to funding from formal sources, they may pose greater risk if they have links with international terrorist networks or UN-listed entities, or their associated entities.

Similarly, The illicit sector is also being promoted by a large number of NGOs/INGOs and civil society organizations in Pakistan which are operating illegally and advocating the implementation of their biased and misguided recommendations.

It is important to note, however, that these organizations are advocating the narrative of the illicit manufacturers in order to enable them to grow and harm the business of the regulated sector operating legally in the country through the imposition of various taxes.

Experts have urged the government that there is an immediate need to register, regulate and monitor all such organizations which are working for multiple causes but not registered with any government organization. The operation of any of these organization without registration in Pakistan poses high risk in the absence of monitoring due to global pressure to check illegal funding to the INGOs and NPOs under the guidelines of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

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