FAISALABAD: Regional Tax Office (RTO) has paid Rs 315 million refund claims during last 15 days while the payment of claims of more than Rs.1 Million would also be paid by August 15, 2017, said Dr. Muhammad Akram Chief Commissioner Inland Revenue Faisalabad.
Addressing a function in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI), here today, he said that taxes are lifeline of national economy and without it we could neither run the state machinery nor undertake the development project for the welfare of the masses. He expressed satisfaction that the business community of Faisalabad is fully aware of its national obligations and is also paying their due shares towards national kitty.
He further said that tax collection is considered as an unholy task but we will try our best to collect it by taking the taxpayers into confidence and without creating harassment among the business community. He said that generally the tax targets are achieved every year but when the revenue collection dips they have to take extra measures to meet the shortfall. He told that he will try his optimum best to resolve the tax related issues during his tenure as chief commissioner inland revenue.
Responding to a question, he said that it is an old story that business community was regarded as tax evaders. “There is a visible and positive change in FBR culture and now we have established an appreciable working relationship between the taxpayers and tax collectors”, he added. Quoting the issue of City Cloth Board, he said that it was resolved immediately and up to the entire satisfaction of the both parties. Regarding tax exemption case of FCCI, he assured that it would be resolve very soon. Responding to yet another question about problems of zero rating, Dr. Akram said that initially the refund claims of electricity, gas and coal were cropped up being a new process but now these have been settled down. It was also disclosed during the meeting that in according to the SOP for these refunds claims, a complicated procedure was to be adopted.
He said that most of the industrialists are handicaps to fulfill these requirements and hence their cases remained pending. In this connection we need policy intervention and he will take up this case with FBR. Regarding RTO and FCCI coordination committee, he told that earlier a committee was established, however, it could be revived again if needed. He also responded the questions of the participants and said that all visitors are welcomed in his offices but some security measures have to be adopted in the prevailing law and order situation. He further said that philosophically, he understand that tax collection should be linked with economic growth of the country but it is also a hard effect that we have only 8 to 10 lac filers out of the total population of 200 million.
Earlier, in his address of welcome Acting President FCCI Rana Sikandar Azma said that exports play an important role in the overall growth of national economy but during last three years it was continuously declining due to different reasons. He told that 11% decline was recorded in export as compare to 2014-15 while our debt servicing has become more than the entire development budget of Pakistan. “It is not a satisfactory situation and government must encourage private sectors to play its role and put the economy on right track”, he added. He further said that Pakistan should fully avail from the opportunities created due to the decline in oil prices and CPEC especially in this region. He said that terrorisms and extremisms have inflicted colossal loss to the national economy. “No doubt the prices of electricity, gas have been reduced but yet these are highest in the region and our business community is unable to compete in the international markets. He appreciated the good relationship between the business community and FBR and hoped that government will expand the tax net instead of putting burden on the existing tax payers.