Pending sales tax refund, despite the prime minister’s clear directives, is a matter of serious concern for the entire export community particularly for the value-added textile sector, said Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA) North Zone Chairman Mian Naeem Ahmad.
He said that on the direction of the PM, the FBR had issued clear instructions to its field offices to process and sanction expeditiously the sales tax refund claims of five major export sectors for the period from July, 2016 to December, 2016, but this date was later extended to October 31, 2016. He claimed that FBR repeatedly extended the payment date from March 31, 2017 to June 30, 2017, then to September 30, 2017 and finally to October 31, 2017.
He said that despite the clear directives, 65% of ERS sales tax refunds are still lying pending with the concerned RTOs. He said that FBR has been continuously targeting exporters by delaying payment of refunds of billions of rupee in lieu of refund of sales tax, withholding tax and customs rebates for achieving its budgetary revenue collection targets.He said that FBR’s actions are a lethal attempt to destroy value added textiles and sabotage the efforts of the exporters to enhance the national exports.
He further said that the conduct of FBR is also highly contradictory as their entire energy is focused on further squeezing the existing taxpayers. Amid liquidity crunch, exporters have failed to materialise new export orders, which will have negative repercussions on the textile exports in the coming months, he added. He said that the trade deficit is likely to touch $30 billion mark due to decrease in exports and competitors are fully exploiting the situation to grab our hard earned markets.