Finally the government has considered solving the refund issue of exporters. FBR has been directed by Dr Hafeez Shaikh , Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, that a refund of approximately Rs. 15 billion should be released to the exporters within next two days. This step has been decided to solve the liquidity issues being faced by the exporters.
FBR Official Spokesperson Dr Hamid Ateeq broke the news by saying “We have received a directive from the adviser to release the refunds”. He added that the amounts will be released to the exporters within next couple of days. The matter has been solved at the top level after the meeting of exporters with the PM and top officials. Exporters briefed the meeting about their complaints and problems due to the stuck refunds with the FBR. FBR practice of blocking refunds is to express higher revenue growths.
Same issue was raised in the National Assembly Standing Committee meeting held on Thursday. Meeting was chaired by MNA Faizullah being the chairman of the committee and the issues of condition of CNIC for trades, refunds and real estate were took by the committee in the said meeting.
“The pending refund cases do not meet the eligibility criteria:, says FBR
Representing the FBR, Member Operation IRIS Seema Shakeel explained that the issue of block refunds exists. However a committee was formed consisting senior officers from Federal Board of Revenue and the exporters for resolving the main issue which was the technical problems being faced in the form “H”. She said that the said assignment has been completed.
Exporters on the other hand expressed their annoyance on the member’s response. They claimed that it is hard to continue business since the refunds have been stuck by FBR since last 6 months. They also highlighted the problems and weaknesses in the Faster Refunds System. Exporters have requested FBR for addressing the refund matter so that the export industry may function smoothly.
“The refunds are stuck since 6 months”, claim the exporters
As a response to exporters’ queries, Seema Shakeel said that maximum refund cases have been accommodated. Those pending are because of not meeting the requirements. The committee repeatedly asked after a shabby discussion that the issue is to be resolved on priority basis.
Shaban Elahi, President Pakistan Real Estate Investment Forum (PREIF), told the meeting about the problem of unrealistic valuations of properties in Karachi and in the whole country and that FBR should be focusing on the solving the said problem.
He also suggested for forming a law that will protect the end customer from the problems caused by the builders since the builders are exceeding their limits and selling plots or flats more than the approved plan. Such issues should be considered and intervened by the government immediately.
Dr Hameed Ateeq – Member IR policy informed the meeting about appointment of commissioner level committees in twenty one cities for addressing the valuation problems. The matter of Reliance Petroleum Industries (Private) Limited‘s security encashment was also discussed in the meeting. Chief Collector Customs (Karachi) informed the current status of the said matter to the committee. The committee, after discussion on the said matter, advised the collector that the matter should be cordially resolved before meeting of Sub-Committee of the Standing Committee on Finance which is planned to be held on March 17, 2020.
MNAs attending the meeting included Faheem Khan, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Ali Perviz, Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Nafisa Shah, Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Sardar Nasurllah Khan Dreshak and Makhdoom Syed Sami-ul-Hassan Gillani. The meeting was also attended by the senior officers of Ministry of Revenue and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, LDA, CDA, FBR, and FDA.