Rs 237 billion taxes collected in seven months

ISLAMABAD (February 01 2003) : The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has provisionally collected Rs 237 billion against target of Rs 238 billion during seven months of the current financial year ie a shortfall of Rs 1 billion.

The tax managers are confident to meet the target of Rs 238 billion till the compilation of final figures in the coming days.

The collection of Rs 237 billion during July-January period of fiscal year 2002-03, against last year's collection of Rs 207 billion in the corresponding period, reflected a growth of Rs 30 billion ie improvement of 14.5 percent.

The CBR collected Rs 35.5 billion in January 2003, against Rs 32.8 billion collected in same month of last year, ie growth of Rs 2.7 billion.

The CBR expects the final figure to be Rs 37 billion in January after receiving tax data from far-flung areas.

According to the break-up of January's provisional figure; Rs 16.3 billion was collected as sales tax; Rs 6 billion as customs duty, Rs 3.2 billion as central excise duty (CED) and Rs 10 billion as income tax.

The tax officials claimed that unusually large GST refunds were paid to exporters during January.

The authorities paid a total of Rs 5.5 billion as refund to the exporters during January.

The payment of refund during six preceding months was Rs 21 billion with monthly average of Rs 3.5 billion.

Giving reasons for the pendency of sales tax refunds in recent months, tax officials referred to the introduction of STARR automated refund system and heavy purchases of ginned cotton by spinners without adequate procedure for timely refund on ginned cotton. However, this matter has now been resolved.

Within another one or two months, the GST refund picture will return to normal.

The complaints from certain quarters of pendency of GST refund in excess of Rs 20 billion have been set aside by the CBR as deliberate misinformation.

Moreover, CBR's top managers including Chairman met FPCCI and All Pakistan Cloth Exporters Association (Apcea) high-ups in the last week to resolve any specific problems of exporters.

Meetings for the same purpose with Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Aptma are scheduled for February 3, 2003. Chairman CBR and concerned Members will attend the meeting.

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