LAHORE: Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) has appreciated the decision of the government to disburse up to Rs100 billion towards outstanding refunds belonging to exporting industry.
It is to be noted that Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr. Miftah Ismail has recently assured business leaders that before the government’s tenure ends, it will disburse to disburse up to Rs100 billion under sales tax refund claims. The government is also going to announce an export package within the next four to five days, he added.
PIAF chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, in a joint statement along with senior vice chairman Tanveer Ahmed Sufi and vice chairman Kh. Shahzeb Akram, stated that the government is finally fulfilling its commitment regarding the payment of stuck refunds of exporters.
He said that it’s a good omen that the FBR has prepared refund cheques, for the disbursement and for this documentations are under the process. According to reports, the FBR is going to disburse sales tax refunds against those cases that have been verified up to March. The total outstanding refunds, including sales tax, income tax and duty drawback, were estimated at over Rs.200 billion.
“The govt has to fulfili its commitment now as in the past few commitments also made but not fulfilled.” Chairman quoted. The refunds have been accumulated after eliminating zero-rating of sales tax for the export and textile sectors. The PIAF, for the last two years, has been urging the government to re-introduce zero-rating for the export sector, as the industry is facing serious liquidity crunch. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said delay in release of multi-billion rupees funds caused serious fund shortages for the exporters and manufacturers that might lead to closure of several industrial units.
The government previously also planned to issue a financial instrument to settle the tax refund issue. But it failed to materialize its plan issue negotiable instruments. The refund payment orders (RPO) had been issued around a year back in various cases. Yet, the FBR is not paying attention to the situation.