KP businessmen lament ‘undue delay’ in payment of refunds

PESHAWAR: The business community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has expressed grave concern over undue delay in the payment of outstanding refunds under the head of export, sale tax and income tax, despite the announcement of Rs100 billion economic relief package by Prime Minister Imran Khan to support industrial sector amid the challenging situation created by COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairing a meeting of industrialists, exporters and manufacturers via video link on Saturday, Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Engr Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz noted that the industrial growth was already stagnant owing to the recent outbreak of coronavirus pandemic in the country.

“Under such circumstances, unnecessary delay in the payment of outstanding refunds will create liquidity issues for the industries, which will further aggravate the situation and result in the complete closure of industrial process, besides triggering massive unemployment in the country,” he added.

Despite announcement of the PM’s economic relief package, SCCI chief said the payment of refunds was still the biggest issue faced by the industries. He blamed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for playing a negative role in this regard.

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“Delay in the payment of refunds to industries by FBR is incomprehensible following the commitments made by federal government to resolve the liquidity issues being faced by industrial sector amid COVID-19 outbreak,” he maintained.

The SCCI chief urged Prime Minister Imran Khan and federal ministers to immediate order the relevant ministries, including FBR, to ensure immediate payment of all outstanding refunds in order to boost industrialization, exports and job opportunities in the country.

“The coronavirus-hit industries are no longer in a position to further withstand the ongoing crisis.”

He, however, praised the government’s decision to defer payment of electricity and gas bills for next three months, urging the government and its relevant subordinate institutions to ensure effective implementation of the decision to extend maximum relief to the business community.

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