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Asad vows to release 33% tax refund claims worth Rs12.5b next month

KARACHI: Finance Minister Asad Umar has assured value-added textile exporters of releasing their longstanding tax refund claims worth Rs12.5 billion next month.

The minister extended the assurance while receiving a delegation of the Towel Manufacturers Association (TMA) at his office in Islamabad, led by Chairman Farrukh Maqbool. The finance minister promised to release 33% of the total refund claims of the value-added textile sector, which have reached Rs38 billion under the head of Drawback of Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL). The minister presented a solution to the group of businessmen that the government would refund 33% of the total amount and the rest will be dispatched in shape of profitable bonds.

To achieve this, Umar directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to devise a mechanism through which exporters would receive refunds without trouble.

The FBR decided to create a summary in January 2019, to proceed further with the process. The mechanism is focused on ensuring that exporters will receive refunds within 15 days of their shipment leaving the country.

Cumulatively, up to Rs100 billion are stuck with the government under the account of tax refunds. The textile industry has lately voiced fear over the delay due to which exporters are facing liquidity crunch, which is hindering their business growth.

The government has to pay dues worth Rs45 billion in DDT and DLTL, another Rs40 billion under the head of sales tax refunds, around Rs6 billion in customs rebate and nearly Rs2 billion in withholding tax refunds and others for the period January 2017 to August 2018. If it releases the sum on time, it can steer the growth of textile exports by 10%, said PHMA Central Chairman Muhammad Jawed Bilwani earlier this week.

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