ISLAMABAD (July 25 2003) : Member Direct Taxes and Central Board of Revenue (CBR) Spokesman Vakil Ahmad Khan has contradicted the refund claims of Rs 2 billion by the Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA) from the CBR.
Talking to APP, he said that the CBR has to pay only Rs 760 million of the remaining outstanding refunds of the association.
He termed the PVMA's outstanding refunds claim of Rs 2 billion incorrect and baseless.
He said that Rs 58 million refund had already been paid to them by the CBR.
The spokesman said, at present, there was no shortage of ghee and edible oil in the country, adding that in this regard, if an artificial shortage was created, the government would not compromise on its principles and even not hesitate to impart the commodity in order to ensure smooth supply to the consumers.
He said that the CBR chairman has written a letter to the representatives of the PVMA for dialogues on the issue, but regretted that they have not responded as yet.
Vakil Ahmad Khan said that on Wednesday at 4.00 p.m., he himself telephoned PVMA secretary and asked him to discuss the issue and informed him that he wanted to listen to their views and demands in order to resolve their genuine problems.
The PVMA secretary was also informed that Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz has also expressed his desire to meet the representatives of the association at 6.00 p.m. on the same day.
Vakil Ahmad Khan while regretting said, “We kept on waiting till 9.00 p.m., but the PVMA representatives did not come for talks.”
He said for the payment of remaining refunds of Rs 760 million the audit work was in progress and soon after its completion the CBR would repay the remaining refunds.
Vakil said that the revenue authorities have conducted raids on four ghee units and took the records in custody for audit. He said the CBR had already provided them the report of the audit and was still awaiting their response.
He said that the ghee units could take their records back from the CBR after their response on the report.
Vakil Ahmad Khan said that the CBR values its taxpayers, however, he added that the raids were conducted owing to the violation of Sales Tax Act by the ghee units.
He said that under the act the CBR has the power to conduct raid on those ghee mills, which were found violating the law.
He said that the PVMA was actually swindling the consumers.
He questioned that when the government increased the rate of sales tax from 15 percent to 20 percent in the Budget 2002-03 why they did not raise the issue? He also questioned that why the PVMA did not oppose it and why at that time they were silent and why they are today raising the voice?
He clarified that the manufacturers of the locally-produced oil could not claim the refunds.
He said only refunds were given on the imported oil. He claimed that the PVMA were showing the local oil as imported one to claim the refunds.
The CBR spokesman said that the CBR has asked its member audit production, who is also a chartered accountant, to audit the ghee units.
The CBR has asked the PVMA to nominate one of their representatives to see the process of the audit along with the member audit and to make the process more transparent and impartial.
“If after audit they deserves any refund they will be paid,” he said.
About the PVMA demand for abolishing withholding tax, the spokesman said that this tax has been imposed since 1999 and the general sales tax on Hydrogen Gas was also an old tax being paid to the government since long.
Despite all these facts the CBR chairman has invited the PVMA for negotiations.