‘Govt to clear GST refunds within March, grant export rebates in April’

Hafeez Shaikh advises exporters to take care of their workers ‘just how govt is taking care of them

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Friday assured the exporters that the government would clear the GST refunds within the month of March while the export rebates would be granted within April.

In a meeting with a delegation of exporters, the adviser expressed the government’s resolve to do whatever possible to facilitate the exporters and provide them relief with earlier repayments of export rebates, duty drawback and GST refunds.

“I would like to make a statement here that the government has no desire or policy to keep the money that belongs to the exporters and either do we find any reason to delay the repayments,” he said while discussing the proposals with the exporters.

The adviser directed the finance secretary and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairperson to hold meetings with the relevant stakeholders and provide relief to the export sector at the earliest.

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He appreciated the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association’s decision of not laying off their labour in the time of crisis and advised them to take care of their workers just how the government is taking care of them.

Earlier, the exporters discussed with minister various issues being faced by them after the outbreak of coronavirus and the evolving position of the global economies and its impact on the export sector of Pakistan.

Advisers to PM on Commerce and Textile Abdul Hafeez and Adviser on Austerity and Institutional Reforms Ishrat Hussain were also present on the occasion.

The delegation briefed the adviser that owing to the coronavirus outbreak, global economies have gone into a recessionary phase and the demand for their products, especially apparel, has reduced to a considerable level.

The exports which had shown an improvement in the February and March will receive a setback in the coming months, the meeting was informed.

In view of the changing position in global trade, exporters said they had been facing problems with their cash flow situation and need help and assistance from the government mainly in expediting the re-payments/refunds due so that they could resume their businesses as early as possible.

The delegation presented a list of proposals to the finance adviser that could help them improve on their liquidity position and to run their businesses in the current situation when they are not expecting further orders and faster recoveries from their international buyers.

The delegation apprised the government that they have decided not to lay off their daily wage staff in this difficult time.

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