"The government has gone out of its way to
facilitate the business community and restore their confidence"
Despite initiating economic-friendly policies,
simplified tax collecting procedure and reduced number of taxes by the
government, the business community is not responding positively in
terms of tax payment.
Chairman CBR Muhammad Abdullah Yousuf made these
remarks regarding what he observed non-cooperation from the traders,
industrialists and corporate sector
"I do not see any problem in achieving the
target if the taxpayers pay the taxes sincerely." These negative
remarks, however, sound strange especially when the CBR is not only
successfully hitting the revenue targets but even surpassing the
actual revenue targets.
The CBR chief was addressing the industrialists and
the business community at the SITE Association of Industry last week.
The Chairman CBR said that the government has gone
out of its way to facilitate the business community and restore their
confidence but the response of the business community was extremely
poor and they were not coming forward to own their responsibilities.
On the question of delay in refund claims in
respect of sales tax, custom etc. the Chairman CBR said that this the
only agenda, which still stands unfinished and assured the claimants
that they would get refunds as quickly as possible. He said there are
1,150 cases of refund, out of which 600 cases have been cleared by
making a total payment of Rs. 3 billion . Besides, 500 cases are under
process and Rs. 1.4 billion will be paid on this account as "we
want to close this chapter by 15th October this year.
He told that 650 companies had been reconciled and
notified zero-rated. In reply to a question, he told the
industrialists that they may get refund within seven days on receipt
of utility bills without any notification.
Adding further he said that the government has
brought five major sectors of export-oriented industry in zero-rated
regime. He said that out of Rs. 5 billion refund in 2004-05 these 5
sectors own 90% share. Making these five sectors zero-rated would
reduce the workload of the department and the hectic efforts of the
business community to get refund etc. He assured the business
community that the government would soon facilitate accordingly to the
Instructions have been given to Sales Tax
Collectorate (Enforcement) that all manufacturers-cum-exporters who
have been made zero-rated from July 1, 2005, have also been declared
zero-rated for payment of sales tax on utility bills. The refund
claims submitted by them should be paid within the specified period.
The exporters are required to submit the claim
application with the copy of paid utility bill along with a
recommendation letter from the concerned association that the
applicant is a member and a genuine exporter.
Replying to a question regarding discrimination in
incentives between existing small companies (registered before
30-6-2005) and small companies registered on and after 1st July 2005
(Section 153(5)(d) read with 2(59A), Abdullah Yousuf said that the CBR
is looking into the possibilities to resolve this issue.
Regarding acute shortage of caustic soda being
faced by the export-oriented industries, the Chairman CBR said that he
is aware of the problem and the CBR is trying its hard to resolve it
in consultation with the local manufacturers, adding that the supply
position would hopefully improve soon.
Earlier welcoming the chief guest, Dr. Mirza
Ikhtiar Baig lauded the government's consistent policies, structural
reforms and tireless efforts by which the country's economy has
registered an impressive growth with good micro and macro economic
indicators. The world in general, and international donor agencies and
even critics in particular, have acknowledged the same, as it is a
fact, he added. Ikhtiar Baig said that being the Chairman of this
august body, he had been regularly acknowledging all these
achievements in his TV interviews, newspaper columns and articles in
magazines simply because Chairman CBR and his team deserve this great
appreciation on its merit. The business community is proud of him, he
He said that the business community had always
found Abdullah Yousuf positive with pragmatic approach and accepting
challenges to address pending issues since he has taken over as
Chairman of Central Board of Revenue. The business community has
witnessed revolutionary steps taken by him which have transformed the
economic growth of Pakistan. For instance, he said, self-assessment
scheme of Income Tax is a policy people could not have dreamed of,
besides discontinuation of Sales Tax Audit also on self-assessment
basis and the latest one - the New Care System of assessment for the
fast and expeditious clearance and dispatch of g