Govt fast-tracks clearance of tax refunds

Adviser says measures being taken for ensuring ease of doing business

​ Our Correspondent May 09, 2020
Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that the government is actively resolving liquidity-related issues of the business community by clearing all outstanding tax refunds on a fast-track basis.

He added that the government was taking progressive measures for ensuring further ease of doing business and improving the business environment, particularly for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Talking to office-bearers and members of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Shaikh said the government had already issued sales tax refunds to exporters to the tune of Rs56 billion through the FASTER system. Another Rs3 billion worth of refunds would be paid by the end of current month.

He said the government was open to considering any genuine and realistic proposals, including the establishment of industrial zones, upgrade of infrastructure, rationalisation of tariffs and duties for the promotion of SMEs in the country.

Earlier, the FPCCI office-bearers brought to the notice of the adviser progress on their recent meetings with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairperson and her team on resolving their issues such as waiving demurrage charges on stuck containers, clearance of vehicles stuck at ports for want of encashment certificates due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation and the reduction of regulatory duty on the import of tyres.

The businessmen praised the adviser and his team for expediting the clearance of outstanding tax refunds and acknowledged that it was for the first time in history that they had been receiving outstanding refunds without any hassle.

They also shared several proposals and recommendations for facilitating and incentivising businesses and promoting ease of doing business in the country.

The adviser assured the business leaders that the government would resolve all their genuine issues and implement realistic proposals and recommendations for the promotion of business activities.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2020.

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