ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel reviewed matters pertaining to the refund of sales tax and payment of rebate to exporters.
The meeting of the subcommittee of Senate Standing Committee on Finance was convened and chaired by Ramesh Kumar Chawla.
Chawla said that the exporters in the country working on a small and medium scale faced problems, while the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) only made refunds to the influential exporters.
FBR Member Inland Revenue Operations Seema Shakil told the committee that payment of refund claims worth Rs12 billion had been made in 2,000 cases in January alone, while during July to February, more than 12,000 refund claims were received.
She said more than 6,300 refund claims had been processed under Annexure H of which 4,850 had been given refund cheques. It was further said that refund claims worth Rs32 billion had been made to 4,850 cases.
The FBR officials informed the panel that cases worth more than Rs3 billion had been rejected, while 2,200 refund claims were being filed monthly.
The committee was further told that tax refund claims during November and December remained sluggish.
“The cases are dealt on first-come-first-serve basis,” one of the officials said. “Last year, bonds for Rs22 billion were issued for which cheques had been given this year,” he added.
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) officials informed the committee that they received rebate from customs after 13 months due to which the textile sector was not progressing.
“Like our neighbouring countries, if electricity, gas and refunds are given on time, the export of textile could increase by up to $5 billion,” one of the Aptma officials said.
He said the Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund (Faster) system introduced by the FBR was of no value as no refund claim had been processed in the past 10 days due to which the exporters working on small and medium scales were suffering.