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Revenue Board fails to notify drawback rates

ISLAMABAD (September 02 2003) : While the Ministry of Commerce is planning to achieve $ 12.1 billion export target for 2003-04, the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has failed to issue duty drawback notifications for exporters in time due to the absence of the entire team of tax officials directly linked with the fixation of duty drawback rates.

The prompt issuance of duty drawback notifications to the exporters plays a vital role in achieving the export target.

Sources said here on Monday that the recent transfers and postings in CBR created a gap in the Export Wing as all three important posts, including Member Export, Chief DDS and Secretary DDS, were not filled to clear the backlog.

This delayed the issuance of over 30-35 notifications approved by the Input/Output Coefficient Organisation (IOCO), Karachi.

The reshuffling created an uncertain situation in the Export Wing as on the one hand the IOCO, Karachi has submitted assessment of duty drawback rates of a number of items to the CBR, while on the other, the exporters were making hue and cry over the absence of concerned officials.

CBR Member Mumtaz Haider Rizvi has been given new assignment as Member National Tariff Commission (NTC), Chief Duty Drawback System (DDS) Nadir Khan Hoti has been transferred and posted as Collector, ST and Central Excise, Rawalpindi, and Secretary DDS Zia-u-din Vazir was transferred to Peshawar one year back.

The entire working and issuance of duty drawback notifications depended on the said chain of tax officials who were responsible for fixing rates keeping in view recommendations made by IOCO, Karachi.

Sources pointed out that immediate appointment of tax officials is required to clear the backlog of duty drawback notifications.

Interestingly, the situation on the IOCO, Karachi side is also not very encouraging, as the contract of four IOCO Additional Director/Sector Experts expired on June 30, 2003, and their extension is yet to be notified.

It is learnt that the government has approved the extension of these experts, but the CBR has yet to issue the formal notification.

These sector experts belonging to textile, leather, engineering and consumer products play an important role in determination of duty drawback rates in the leading sectors.

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