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February 24, 2021

‘No need for zero-rating regime with FASTER Plus’

Business

February 24, 2021

LAHORE: The FBR’s Inland Revenue (Operations) Member Dr Muhammad Ashfaq has said that the newly-upgraded “Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund (FASTER) Plus system” was so expeditious and transparent that now there was no need of sales tax zero-rating regime for the exporters.

Addressing a meeting of Sialkot exporters, organised by the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), he said the FBR was refunding claims of Rs200-250 billion to the exporters every month, as each and every exporter was enlisted in the FASTER Plus system, which was performing very well without human involvement.

He was accompanied by Sialkot Chief Commissioner Inland Revenue RTO Dr Tariq Mahmood. Ashfaq said the new system has been providing an opportunity to the exporters to review and resubmit their claims after removing shortcomings. He said Sialkot was the hub of SME sector, which needed working capital for smooth operations.

“I am very much in the favour of industrialisation and growth of exports for maximum employment generation in line with the vision of PM Imran Khan. I am your focal person and available 24/7 for the industry. My doors are always open for you,” he said, and added that the taxpayer doesn’t need to go to RTO on any tax notice rather the FBR officials would visit them to get the reply.

The FBR Member reiterated the resolve of the government for expeditious payment of tax refunds and removal of all irritants in this regard.

PRGMEA Central Chairman Sohail A Sheikh said that in the beginning, due to some technical glitches in system, exporters faced problems such as getting stuck at pre-processing stage, missing amount of refunds, no intimation about the status of refund and delays in processing of refunds. However, now under the new faster plus system, things were running smoothly. He applauded the government’s incentives and support to the apparel exporters, who succeeded in enhancing textile exports by 7.79 percent during July-December despite coronavirus-related restrictions. Sheikh also pointed out that in time, the decision of the government to open the industrial sector played a major role in stabilising the economy in addition to keeping millions of jobs intact.