FTO apprised about carpet sector’s tax issues

LAHORE  -  A Pakistan Carpet Manufac­turers and Exporters Asso­ciation (PCMEA) delegation led by it Senior Vice Chair­man Usman Ashraf called on Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) Dr Asif Mahmood Jah and informed him in detail about their concerns regard­ing the Federal Board of Rev­enue (FBR).

The Federal Tax Ombuds­man (FTO) assured the dele­gation of solving their tax-re­lated problems, saying, “The country’s economy runs on the support of exporters, so I will solve their problems on a priority basis.”

The delegation comprised Senior Central Leader Ab­dul Latif Malik, Chairman of Carpet Training Institute (CTI) Ejazur Rehman, Major (retd) Akhtar Nazir, Shahid Hasan Sheikh, Saeed Khan, Mian Atiqur Rehman, Irfan Ayub, Aslam Tahir, Iftikhar Aslam and Aamir Sheikh, ac­cording to a PCMEA spokes­person here Sunday.

Dr Asif Mehmood Jah said that Federal Tax Ombudsman had issued refunds of Rs17 billion pending for many years in two years and the aim of the forum is to pro­vide speedy justice without any cost, and “we decide the cases within two months”.

Usman Ashraf and Abdul Latif Malik apprised the FTO about the problems faced by carpet industry and said that the industry of handmade carpets is the largest cottage industry spread in different parts of the country.

They added that raw mate­rials are sent from Pakistan to Afghanistan and after partial processing, they are brought back through the Torkham Border which is later totally exported after final prepara­tion. “We demand that com­mercial importers, like reg­istered exporters, should be exempted from taxes and cus­toms duties on semi-finished raw materials returned via Torkham and the recovery of sales tax will not be affected by this relief to commercial importers, we are ready to write down and refund the sales tax on the value. Due to duties, our exports become expensive and we are out of competition in the global markets,” they explained.

The delegation also in­formed the Federal Tax Om­budsman in writing about other issues including im­position of fines without a show cause notice and delay in issuing refunds by FBR. The delegation said that pro­viding relief to commercial importers on the pattern of registered exporters would not only boost the ailing han­dloom carpet industry, rath­er, the volume of valuable foreign exchange would also increase many times, which the country desperately needs at this time. 

Dr Asif Jah directed the relevant staff to include the representative of the Carpet Association in the advisory committee of the Federal Tax Ombudsman, saying that there are clear instructions that the people whose applications will be heard in the FTO cannot be served with any kind of notice during this time and their au­dit cannot be opened.

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