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Revenue Board extends SRO 410 till June 30

ISLAMABAD (January 16 2004): The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has extended SRO. 410(I)/2001 (Temporary Importation Scheme) facilitating 13 leading value added industries engaged in temporary import of raw materials for manufacture of export goods up to June 30, 2004.

The decision was taken at a high level meeting, attended by Minister of Finance Shaukat Aziz, Minister of Commerce Humayun Akhtar and CBR officials.

The two Ministers noted that much progress has been made in familiarising the Duty and Tax Remission for Export (DTRE) scheme.

At present, there are almost 1000 users of the DTRE scheme but the number remained stagnant at around 200 for several months.

The increased use of DTRE scheme was due to amendments suggested by various committees constituted from time to time under Tariq Ikram, Chairman, Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and CBR's special drive to motivate the exporters to opt for the scheme.

Since there is still some concern with small exporters and because of government's commitment not to impede the increasing exports from the country, this final extension in the temporary importation scheme up to June 30, 2004 has been allowed.

The Federal Ministers present in the meeting have firmly stated that the government would refuse any further request for extension after June 30, 2004.

They have stressed that any exporter having any reservations whatever regarding the DTRE scheme must immediately contact the Chairman EPB so that the matter can be finalised well ahead of the budget thus leaving enough time for all stakeholders to ponder over the revisions in the DTRE scheme.

Official sources told Business Recorder here on Thursday that the CBR has amended SRO. 410(I)/2001 to extend the time period without incorporating any new amendment with effect from January 1, 2004.

Presently, imported consignments under the Temporary Importation Scheme are waiting clearance at the ports due to expiry of SRO.410 on December 31, 2003.

The exporters of leading value-added industries continue availing exemption of duties and taxes on temporary import of raw materials/inputs used in the manufacture of finished products from January 1, 2004.

Meanwhile, the government has turned down the CBR's proposals for extraordinary incentives to the manufacturers-cum-exporters.

The CBR had redrafted SRO. 410(I)/2001 to plug the loopholes making it less lucrative for the business community. However, the extension in SRO. 410 will be in its previous form with no new conditionalities except extension in the date.

Sources said that the CBR wanted that the import consignments of duties and taxes free raw materials/inputs should be released only against the bank guarantee to be submitted by the manufacturers-cum-exporters.

Similarly, the CBR also proposed that the refund should be paid on the basis of calculation made by the Input Output Coefficient Organisation, Karachi.

The Ministries of Commerce and Finance have not supported these amendments and it has been decided that the previous tax relief is retained in SRO.410.

It may be recalled that the CBR had strongly opposed further extension in the scheme.

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