KARACHI - President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Shamim Ahmed Firpo, while referring to numerous requests received from KCCI members, urged the government on Monday to timely settle the pending sales tax refunds claims in order to save manufacturers-cum-exporters, particularly small exporters from suffering severe liquidity crunch.

In a statement issued here, KCCI president recalled that under the prime minister’s directives, Sales Tax refunds of up to Rs22 billion were settled in the month of August 2016, which was followed by another settlement of refunds claims of Rs21 billion for the period ending June 1, 2015-June 30, 2016 in the month of November 2016, but it has been three months now since the last payments against refund claims were made whereas such claims had been escalating every day, triggering anxiety amongst many taxpayers. “Refund claims of last 7 months of the current fiscal year have not been cleared which has intensified the hardships particularly for small exporters due to severe liquidity crunch”, he added.

Shamim Firpo, welcomed Federal government’s move to release Rs22 billion and Rs21 billion to settle pending refund claims of fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, stated that although this move provided the much-awaited relief to exporters but this relief should be ensured on sustainable basis which would surely ensure sufficient availability of liquidity to manufacturers-cum-exporters, enhance their productivity and pave way for uplifting the depressed exports of the country.

In this regard, he advised the government to devise an automated system which must ensure release of pending refund claims on monthly or quarterly basis which, if done, would enable the industrialists and exporters to efficiently devise their future business expansion strategies and create an enabling environment in which the businessmen and industrialists will be least bothered about the release of refund claims and stay focused on exploring ways and means of how to enhance their businesses and exports.