ISLAMABAD-Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that the government is actively resolving the liquidity related issues of business community by clearing all outstanding tax refunds on fast-track basis and taking progressive measures for further ease of doing business and improving business environment, particularly for the small and medium enterprises. He was talking to the office bearers and members of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) who held a detailed on-video interaction with the Adviser and his team at the Finance Division and apprised them of their issues besides presenting various proposals and recommendations for consideration in the upcoming federal budget.

Chairperson FBR Ms Nausheen Javaid Amjad, Secretary Finance Naveed Kamran Baloch, FPCCI President Mian Anjum Nisar, former federation president Zakaria Usman and several other office-bearers and members of FPCCI also took part in the discussion. Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that the government had already issued sales tax refunds to exporters to the tune of Rs 56 billion through the Faster system while Rs 40 billion refunds had also been issued out of Faster and Rs 3 billion additional refunds were to be paid by the end of current month. He said the government was open to considering any genuine and realistic proposals, including the establishment of industrial zones, upgrade of infrastructure, rationalization of tariff and duties, for the promotion of SMEs in the country.

Earlier, the office-bearers of the FPCCI brought to the notice of the Adviser progress on their recent meetings with the FBR chairperson and her team on resolution of their issues such as waiver of demurrage charges for stuck-up containers as well as clearance of vehicles stuck at the ports for want of encashment certificates due to prevailing COVID-19 situation, reduction of regulatory duty on the import of tyres.

They thanked the Adviser and his team for expediting clearance of outstanding tax refunds and conceded that it was for the first time in history that they had been receiving their outstanding tax refunds at their doorsteps without any hassle. They also shared several proposals and recommendations for facilitating and incentivizing businesses and promoting ease of doing business in the country.