The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy has raised concerns among countries vulnerable to illegal trade, such as Pakistan.
Experts believe that the documented sector and general public are not in a state to bear the pressure of more taxes and the government needs to take action against the illegal and illicit traders in the country to generate revenue.
“Economic activity in Pakistan has declined due to adverse effects of the pandemic,” said Stop Illegal Trade (SIT).
“On the other hand, the negative growth of GDP has triggered a significant decline in per capita income.”
Elements involved in illicit trade are benefiting from the pandemic’s impact on the global supply chain and the disruption to production and supply of local industries amid the declining purchasing power of the people. Pakistan was not the only country in the world that faced these problems.
“Many countries have reduced the economic and social damage from illicit trade by increasing public support and the capacity of law enforcement agencies,”
South Africa was one of the countries most affected by the illicit cigarette trade.
Elaborating, she added that smuggled cigarettes were a huge source of income for the South African criminal gangs and it caused a significant dent on the government’s tax revenue.
The government of South Africa banned the sale of cigarettes and alcohol during the pandemic, however, it resulted in a drastic increase in the sale of illicit cigarettes and alcohol products.