In Pakistan, exporters demand release of blocked refunds

LAHORE: The hosiery industry of Pakistan has raised concern over delay in payments under the Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund System (FASTER) without any substantive reason but at the same time it has praised government’s overall efforts for release of exporters’ sales tax refund claims within 72 hours.

Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA) Vice Chairman Shafiq Butt, in a statement issued on Monday, stressed that a mechanism should be adopted to find out reasons for delay in release of up to 25% 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 10-25% of payments to the exporters, though their documents are complete,” he said.

Butt urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) that FASTER should be equipped with the required software that could point out the reason for the rejection of documents.

He said the exporters were required to submit Annexure-H form with sales tax return in order to receive refunds into their bank accounts under the automated system. However, a number of issues were being faced by them.

He called for issuing necessary instructions for reprocessing the refund claims that were rejected due to the technical constraint.

Butt pointed out that the country had been able to achieve current account surplus and now it needed a policy to have trade surplus through industrialisation and exports. “We are confident that the same spirit will be followed to remove remaining hurdles in the way of export growth.”

Butt emphasised that it should be the utmost priority of the government to facilitate exporters in every possible way. “Exporters are unable to purchase raw material and other accessories for fulfilling their future export orders, which can cause collapse of the entire trade system.” 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2020.

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