Islamabad: (August 8, 2017) Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar on Tuesday presided over a ceremony of payment of sales tax refunds at FBR. The ceremony was also attended by Mr. Zubair Tufail, President, FPCCI and other representatives of chambers and trade bodies. FBR Chairman, Members of FBR and other tax officers were also present.
It was announced by the Finance Minister in the budget speech for the year 2017-18 that taxpayers’ long outstanding demand for payment of refunds will be addressed soon and the sales tax refunds against refund payment orders (RPOs) issued up to 30th April, 2017, shall be paid in two stages. Firstly, payments against RPOs involving amount up to Rs. 1 million were to be paid by 15th July, 2017; and in the second stage refund against RPOs of amount more than Rs. 1 million were to be paid by 14th August, 2017.
Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar said that the PML (N) government has been sensitive to the issues faced by the business community arising from stuck up refunds.
The Minister said that refund payments up to Rs 1 million were paid on 15th July, 2017 whereas payments against RPOs exceeding Rs. 1 million are being issued today, well before the date earlier announced. He added that total refund including refund issued in the first phase come out to Rs 26.43 billion covering 10,439 RPOs.
Minister Dar said that these refund payments would not only cover exporters but all other claimants in all sectors of economy. This would resolve liquidity problems that the taxpayers are facing. He said that to fulfill the commitment FBR is forwarding electronic payment advice to State Bank of Pakistan.
It may be added that first time refund payments were made through direct electronic transfer to claimants’ bank accounts through State Bank in November 2016. Since Nov, 2016, sales tax refund has been credited directly into the account of the taxpayers within 24 hours. State Bank of Pakistan has again been directed to make arrangements in this regard so that the amount of refund should be credited directly into the account of the taxpayers within 24 hours.
The Finance Minister emphasized cordiality in FBR-Business Community relationship saying it was vital for good revenue generation, which in turn is essential for economic growth as envisaged by the present government. The Minister also urged the business community to play their vital role by investing in new areas, setting up industry and paying taxes to enhancing the pace of development in the country.
The Minister along with Chairman FBR and other invitees pressed the button on the computer keypad marking electronic transfer of refund payments.