LAHORE: The Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) and the Pakistan Customs have agreed to evolve a comprehensive mechanism for the release of tax refunds of leather exporters as a long delay has pushed down exports, which will widen the country’s trade gap further.
Speaking at a meeting of the PTA North Zone, Customs Collector Zulfiqar Younas assured the leather exporters of early clearance of all pending rebate claims.
He added all refund claims of the PTA North Zone members would be cleared on a priority basis, acknowledging that the long delay in releasing refunds had hurt the industry.
The collector pledged to provide all necessary facilities to Lahore-based exporters and importers, besides removing hurdles, in order to encourage them to do their business through the Lahore Dry Port.
Younas pointed out that the Pakistan Customs was introducing business-friendly policies to encourage the business community to struggle hard for the promotion of exports.
Speaking on the occasion, PTA North Zone Chairman Azam Malik pressed the government to act decisively and rescue the leather industry from financial crisis as the worst-ever cash flow crunch had brought the second largest industry of the country to the brink of disaster.
“The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is hampering the growth of one of the most productive sectors, which generates employment for over one million people and earns foreign exchange of around $1 billion, by denying the exporters their right of refund,” he said.
The government should take a realistic view of the matter and release the long outstanding refunds at the earliest, he stressed.
Malik called the delay in release of the outstanding refund payments unjustified, though revenue collection had hit a record.
“The government, on many occasions, had given firm assurances for the payment of refunds but failed to keep its promise. The FBR, under the law, is bound to release the refunds within 45 days but it has been delayed for years,” he said.
Courtesy : Express Tribune