KCCI demands immediate release of tax refunds to SMEs

'Claims of up to Rs100,000 should be released immediately to facilitate small traders struggling to cope with Covid-19 situation'

KARACHI: The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to immediately release pending income tax refund claims of small traders, shopkeepers and SMEs.

Speaking at a meeting of small traders at KCCI on Tuesday, former KCCI president and Businessmen Group (BMG) Chairman Zubair Motiwala said claims of around Rs50,000 to Rs100,000, whose assessment has been completed, should be released on a priority basis, as it would bring some relief to the lives of small businessmen during the ongoing extraordinary situation caused by Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have no idea how long the Covid-19 pandemic will last; therefore, the government must provide relief, as it is totally uncertain where the businesses will end up in days to come,” he stated.

The BMG chairman stressed that the government would have to bring major changes in the taxation system, besides devising an effective mechanism to minimise the hardships of small traders.

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“Big businesses may survive [the pandemic] but small traders need support, as they have also lost all their savings battling the pandemic situation and have no access to financing facilities.”

He said the CNIC issue, which is creating a lot of problems for the already perturbed businessmen — already compelled to run their businesses with limited timings and are strictly advised to comply with all the SOPs for containing Covid-19 pandemic, has resulted in creating a troublesome situation for small traders by raising the costs of their businesses and lowering their earnings.

Speaking on the occasion, KCCI President Shariq Vohra said small traders are the assets of KCCI and the chamber fully realises their significance. He said the chamber’s role is to facilitate and support the business community in dealing with government-related matters and pave the way for the progress and prosperity of small traders.

“This is our job and we will remain unshakable until the issues are amicably resolved,” he added.

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