FBR flayed for delaying cheques to exporters

KARACHI: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) and All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said FBR has been delaying cheques to exporters despite issuance of Refund Payment Orders (RPOs) which is injustice.

Business community is already reeling under many problems; therefore, it should not be made to pay for low tax collections and budget deficit which is not their fault, he said while talking to a delegation of exporters.

He said that delay of nine months on the part of FBR in releasing refunds had compromised ability of many exporters to get new orders. “Some have simply become uncompetitive while a good number have no option but to find financing on high interest rates to fulfil their commitments.”

FBR should issue cheques within one week on issuing RPOs but it has not been observed since September last year which is not only disappointing but amounts to hurting exports, he said.

Hussain also indicated the software used by the tax authorities, which has reduced efficiency of the already sluggish system but raising wrong objections which are based on wrong data entry by clerks.

He said: “Business community has to brave all the mistakes of FBR which needs to evolve a mechanism for the distinction between good and bad taxpayers. FBR should have such a database for clean taxpayers who should enjoy swift processing as a reward for their honesty.”

The veteran business leader says that government always seeks payment of taxes and duties well in time but delays refunds. Taxpayers should undergo only one audit as multiple audits increases cost of doing business.

“Postponing refunds for long-time triggers disappointment in business community and hurts business environment and relations with the government, therefore, this practice should be abolished,” Hussain concluded.