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The Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar visited FBR Headquarters on Saturday, 15th July, 2017, and presided over a ceremony of payment of sales tax refunds.
It was announced by the Finance Minister in the budget speech for the year 2017-18 that taxpayers’ long outstanding demand for payment of refunds will be addressed soon and the sales tax refunds against refund payment orders (RPOs) issued up to 30th April, 2017, shall be paid in two stages. Firstly, payments against RPOs involving amount up to Rs. 1 million were to be paid by 15th July, 2017; and in the second stage refund against RPOs of amount more than Rs. 1 million shall be paid by 14th August, 2017.
In his opening remarks, the Finance Minister welcomed the new Chairman FBR Mr. Tariq Mahmood Pasha and expressed hope that the new Chairman and his team will strive to overcome the challenges and make all efforts to achieve the target for the new financial year and simultaneously accord due priority to facilitation of taxpayers.
The Finance Minister stated that the government was conscious of the problems being faced by the taxpayers and is taking many steps to resolve these problems. He stated that the ceremony was part of such measures and through this first part of the commitment made in the budget speech is being fulfilled. The payment is being paid against 6853 RPOs issued by 30th April 2017, of amount up to Rs. 1 million. The next part of commitment shall also be fulfilled by making payment against RPOs with amount more than Rs. 1 million by 14th August 2017.
The Finance Minister informed that for the first time refund payments were made through direct electronic transfer to claimants’ bank accounts through state Bank in November 2016. The payments made in the ceremony will also be transferred in the same manner to the claimants’ accounts in the next two working days. This measure, he said, is aimed at enhancing transparency and facilitation and reducing contact between tax collectors and the taxpayers.
In the concluding part of the ceremony, the Finance Minister pressed the button of FBR’s Computerized System to remit the bank advice to the State Bank for transfer of the amount involved.