Gov’t to clear Sales Tax refunds of Rs 25 bln within a week: Dar

700
APP33-31 ISLAMABAD: October 31 - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar addressing the opening session of the 75th Plenary Meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). APP

ISLAMABAD, Oct 31 (APP): Minister for Finance, Senator Muhammad Ishaq  Dar on Monday said that the government would clear all kinds of sales tax refunds of upto June 30, 2016, within next seven days and the amount worth of Rs 25 billion would be directly dispersed online to the accounts of the recipients.

“This is first time in history of the country that a government  is clearing all refund cases as per promise made by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif”, the minister said while addressing a press conference here at the Punjab House.

He said in order to save time of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)
and the recipients and to ensure transparency the government had decided to disperse the refund amount through new system.

Mr Dar said a focal person in the FBR has been appointed in this
regard and an email (strefund@fbr.gov.pk) had also been made to facilitate the recipients.

He advised the people who, in case could not receive their refunds
within next seven days, to inform the focal person on the given email and they would be facilitated within next seven days.

He said the government had already dispersed refunds worth of Rs 21
billion in August this year.

Further he informed that the government had decided to maintain the
petroleum prices for next month of November.

Ishaq Dar said that the Prime Minister had rejected the summary of Oil
and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to increase petroleum prices.

According to the summary of OGRA, Dar said that the price of Petrol
was proposed to be increased by Rs 2.32 per liter from existing price of Rs 64.27 per liter to Rs 66.56 per liter while the price of High Speed Diesel (HSD) was proposed to be increased from Rs 72.52 per liter to Rs 74.52 per liter.

Similarly the price of High Octane was proposed by OGRA to be
increased by Rs 9.82 per liter to Rs 82.50 per liter whereas the price of Kerosene oil was also suggested to be increased by Rs 6.75 per liter from existing Rs 43.25 per liter to Rs 50 per liter.

“The total impact of not increasing the prices of petroleum products
would be around Rs 12 billion per month which would be borne by the ministry of finance”, Mr Dar informed.

He also presented the comparison of current ration of Sales Tax on
these products as against the rate of sales tax being charged in March 2013.

The finance minister said that in March, 2013, Rs 14.70 was being
charged on one liter of Petrol while it would be Rs 9.10 per liter from November 01, 2016.

Similarly he said, Rs 17.99 per liter would be charged on HSD from
November 1, 2016 as compared to the sales tax of Rs 15.66 per liter on this product while on kerosene oil the sales tax of Rs 0.85 against he Sales Tax of Rs 14.3 per liter in March, 2013 would be charged from November 01, 2016.

He said on Light Diesel Oil the sales tax of Rs 13.55 per liter was
being charged in March 2013 while now it would be charged only Rs 0.85 per liter.

He said on High Octane, Rs 10.56 as compared to Rs 19.32 per liter on
High Octane would be charged.

Muhammad Ishaq Dar informed that Pakistan became signatory of
Organization for Economic Cooperation of Development (OECD) last month  and it is expected that the cabinet meeting to be held here on Tuesday  (Nov 1), would ratify it.

He said the Companies Bill, 2016 would also be included in the  agenda of the tomorrow’s meeting of the cabinet and likely the federal cabinet would approve the Bill which would be presented in the National Assembly and then to the Senate to make it a law.

He said the Companies Ordinance, 1984 had become very old and the
government was introducing the new law after a gap of 34 years.

He said a number of reforms were being introduced to the new law.

Replying to a question, the finance minister said that if the  Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) ensured that it would hold a peaceful  protest then the government would allow it to stage a protest at the specific place but he said that the track record of the PTI was not good as it did not stick to its promise in 2014.

He said according to the court order the PTI was not allowed to  lock down the federal capital but instead it was allowed to hold a  peaceful protest at Democracy Park.

To another question, the minister said that the salaries of  Frontier Corps would be increased in two parts and it would be on a par
with the salaries of Islamabad Police.