The newly upgraded Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund (FASTER) Plus system is quick and transparent and now there is no need for zero-rating regime on sales tax for exporters, said Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Inland Revenue (Operations) Member Dr Muhammad Ashfaq.

Addressing a meeting of Sialkot exporters on Tuesday, he said that FBR was disbursing Rs200-250 billion in refund claims to exporters every month, adding that each and every exporter was listed in the FASTER Plus system.

Ashfaq added that the new system provided an opportunity to the exporters to review and re-submit their claims after removing all shortcomings.

“Sialkot is the hub of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector which needs working capital for its smooth operations,” he said.

He stressed focus on industrialisation and growth of exports for maximum employment generation in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He further assured full cooperation to the business community and the industry.

“A taxpayer does not need to visit RTOs over any tax notice, rather FBR officials will visit them to receive a reply,” he added. The official reiterated the resolve of the government for expeditious payment of tax refunds and removal of all hurdles in this regard.

Speaking on the occasion, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Central Chairman Sohail Sheikh said, “In the beginning, exporters faced multiple problems due to some technical glitches in system.”

The glitches included cases being stuck at pre-processing stage, missing amount of refunds and no intimation about the status of refund and delays in processing of refunds.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2021.

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