Speedy payment of exporters’ sales tax refunds laudable: Shafiq Butt

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Staff Reporter

Karachi

The value-added textile industry has hailed the government efforts of speedy payment of exporters’ sales tax refund claims within 72 hours but raised concern over deferment of some payment under the Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund System (FASTER) without providing any substantive reason.
Vice chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA) Shafiq Butt observed that a mechanism should be finalized to find out the reasons of deferring up to 25 percent payment of exporters refunds under FASTER. “The Automated Refund System should point out the reason as to why it is not making full payment and deferring 10 to 25 percent payment of the exporters while their documents are complete.”
He urged the Federal Board of Revenue that FASTER should be equipped with required software to point out the reason of rejection of exporters documents.
Shafiq Butt said that exporters are required to submit annexure-H form with sales tax return for receiving sales tax refunds into their bank accounts under the FASTER. However, a number of issues are being faced by the exporters for refunds. According to him, the FBR has made partial payments against the sales tax refund claims and exporters are unaware as to why the FBR had withheld the remaining refund amount. This situation has created unrest among member exporters. Exporters want to know why the sales tax refund payment has not been made and some part payment has been withheld without mentioning any reason.
PHMA vice chairman requested for the necessary instructions for reprocess of such refund claims which were rejected due to this technical constraint.
He said the country has achieved current account surplus and now it needs a policy to become a trade surplus through industrialization and exports. “We are confident that the same spirit will be followed to remove remaining hurdles in export growth.”
He said the PHMA appreciated the government on great progress towards a sustainable future, including current account surplus from an annual deficit of $20 billion and Moody’s outlook from negative to stable.
Shafiq Butt said that increase in exports of the country was very important for improving national economy. He observed that it should be the utmost priority of the government to facilitate exporters in every possible way. He said the exporters were unable to procure and purchase raw materials and other accessories for fulfilling their future export orders which could cause collapse the entire export trade, he added.
He further stated that record inflation has hit the purchasing power of the common man due to which business activities have reduced significantly. He urged the government to reduce prices of fuel, electricity as well as the gas, besides reducing key policy interest rate to the single digit to facilitate the exporters. Shafiq Butt said the high cost of doing business has not only ousted Pakistani products from the international marketplace but was also jacking up the graph of unemployment.