CBR to set up alternate dispute resolution bodies at regional level

LAHORE (September 01 2005): In order to provide alternate dispute resolution facility to the tax payers residing in far-flung areas, the Central Board of Revenue (CBR), has agreed to set up Alternate Dispute Resolution Committees (ADRCs) at regional level.

Chairman CBR Abdullah Yousaf said this, while addressing the textile industrialists here at the Aptma House on Wednesday.

Abdullah Yousaf maintained that alternate dispute resolution facility has played key role in resolving the disputes between taxpayers and the tax department. He asked the representatives of the business community to come up with comprehensive suggestions to facilitate the taxpayers.

He said that time limit fixed for settlement of cases through alternate dispute resolution committee was initially fixed for one-month. He added that the CBR has no intention to fix any time limit for the resolution of disputes through these committees.

To a question, he said that the CBR has provided relief to taxpayers by accepting 99 percent recommendations of the ADRCs, however, he clarified that acceptance of decisions of ADRCs is not mandatory for CBR.

He said that ADRCs is a new concept, which will strengthen with the passage of time.

He clarified that only those taxpayers, who are in litigation with the department can opt for resolution of dispute through alternate dispute resolution committee.

Responding to a question, he said that an amount of Rs 30 billion was refunded last year under the head of income tax refunds. He said the CBR was taking steps for prompt clearance of refund claims.

He said that CBR would issue a notification of those export-oriented units, which have been provided zero rated facility and this notification would also be sent to all concerned utility organisations.

He said that tax refund facility would be valid for that quantity of power, which is used for manufacturing of export goods.

He said that preparation of database would take some time but government is committed to provide tax exemption to export industry.

To a question about inordinate delay in the tax refunds, he said the CBR has accelerated the process of clearance of sales tax refund cases.

He strongly criticised the elements, who are filing fake refund claims. “Now we are taking steps for the reconciliation of refund claims and strict action would be taken against the plunderers of national wealth,” he said.

He further said that zero tax rate facility is valid for the import of that materiel of export industry, which cannot be used for multiple usage. He said that October 15 is the last date for filing returns of sales tax refund cases.

He advised the exporters to consume their raw materiel before September 30, if they want to file refund claims.

Abdullah said that CBR wanted to introduce such policies, which could help create a conducive environment for the investment.

He advised the textile industrialists to pay attention on fulfilling their social obligations. He was of the view that industrialists must contribute for the construction of schools, hospitals and roads in their respective areas.

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