ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Wednesday said that it has released refunds worth Rs56 billion through the Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund (FASTER) system to help exporters combat the impact of coronavirus on their businesses and liquidity issues.
During the month of March, the FBR sanctioned refunds worth Rs25bn to exporters.
Since July 2019 to date, refund claims involving an amount of Rs59bn have been filed through the FASTER system. Of these, the FBR has sanctioned Rs56bn, which comes to around 95pc of the total claimed amount.
The FASTER system was developed for quick processing of refunds due to exporters since July 2019 after zero rating status was taken away from the five export-oriented sectors.
In its last meeting, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved Rs75bn for the FBR to release sales and income tax refunds, duty drawbacks and customs duties which have been pending since for the last 10 years. The amount will help approximately 676,055 beneficiaries by improving their liquidity position.
The ECC also approved a supplementary grant of Rs30bn for the Ministry of Commerce allowing it to payback duty drawbacks to textile exporters in the current financial year to improve their liquidity position as businesses are experiencing a slow down amid coronavirus-led lockdown.
As per data, refund claims in July were Rs4.09bn, August Rs6.584bn, September Rs8.09bn, October Rs9.95bn, November Rs10.6bn, December Rs10.8bn and January Rs7.67bn. The FBR did not release a monthly breakup for claims made during February and March.
The total refund claims cases stood at 7,965 until January involving an amount of Rs57.86bn. Of these, an amount of Rs51.22bn was released through the FASTER system while an claims worth Rs5.68bn was deferred.
Between July-March FY20, the FBR has released refunds to the tune of Rs98.238bn. The breakup showed that the FBR paid an amount of Rs10.495bn during the July-March period on import taxes this year as against Rs12.825bn over the same period last year, showing a decline of 18.2pc.
But contrary to this, refunds payment on domestic taxes posted a growth of 87.66pc as it reached to Rs87.743bn.
Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2020