Finance Minister announces speedy sales tax refund for small and medium entrepreneurs –

Islamabad, March 13, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar addressed the Chief Commissioners at the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Headquarters today.

Addressing the Officers, the Finance Minister said that FBR was one of the most important organs of the government, as most of the expenditure of the government depends upon the revenue collection of this Department. He said, for the purpose of performing their duties well, the Chief Commissioners and other officers have been selected on merit and are being isolated from external pressures. He added that in response we expected the Chief Commissioners to rise up to the challenges and give sterling performances.

Finance Minister appreciated FBR Chairman and his team on their performance and announced that the revenue collection in first 8 months of this year was Rs. 1348 bn as compared to Rs 1145 bn in corresponding period of last year.

He said that we have witnessed 17.7% growth in revenue up to February, 2014 which was reasonably good. The Finance Minister said that Pakistan’s Tax to GDP ratio currently stood at a meagre 8.5% which our Government has decided to improve.” We have an ambitious program of annual 1% tax to GDP growth”, he added.

The Finance Minister said, “In order to ameliorate the problems of Small and Medium entrepreneurs we have decided that their sales tax refunds must be paid immediately. While we appreciate the queue that has been established for sales tax refund, we will make this one time exception to facilitate the SME sector”.

Finance Minister directed FBR for Sales Tax refunds up to Rs.5 lakh, within 3 weeks and refunds from Rs. 5-10 lakh will be cleared by 15.4.2014 subject to verification and due process. He said that it was benefit around 26,000 clients of the total 36,000 refund cases and the remaining large sum claims will be processed through queue system separately.

The Finance minister instructed the Chief Commissioners for putting in more efforts in order to develop Pakistan and make Pakistan prosperous in line with the vision of the Prime Minister. He concluded that there should not only be increase in the tax net but all the leakages must be plugged. He said that corruption and malpractices would not be tolerated.

Chairman FBR in his closing remarks, at the end of the ceremony, requested for the approval of the Finance Minister for signing MoU regarding adjustment of Sales Tax on services against Sales Tax on supplied goods with Sindh Revenue Board and Punjab Revenue Authority.

With the approval of the Finance Minister, the MoUs were signed by Chairman FBR Mr. Tariq Bajwa, Chairperson Punjab Revenue Authority Mr. Iftikhar Qutab and Chairman Sindh Revenue Board Mr. Tashfeen Khalid Niaz. With the signing of these MoUs, a long outstanding issue regarding Cross-Adjustment of Sales Tax on goods and services levied by the Federal and Provincial Governments has been settled.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
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