(21 August 2015)
Refund mafia has shaken the foundations of country and all efforts to tackle the gang inflicting losses to the tunes of billions therefore Government should automate the system, a leading business leader said Friday.
Automatic refunds would eliminate refund mafia, end delay in payments, trigger exports and may help trading community protesting withholding tax on bank transactions, said President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain.
He demanded immediate legislation and installation of software which automatically process the refund claims and transfer money in the account of exporter within seven days of export.
Speaking to the business community, he said that if transactions through credit or debit card can be updated within seconds, the same can be applied in refunds.
Many countries have a system in place where the customer of train or bus gets refund deposited in his bank account and he is notified through SMS if arrival is delayed.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that refunds worth over one hundred billion have stuck in FBR since long discouraging exporters.
RTOs have issued Refund Payment Orders in many cases but FBR is reluctant to release cheques which is against the law of payment within one week that has pushed many exporters to the wall.
Liquidity problem has taken toll on export sector where many have no option but to get costly credit from market to fulfill commitments.
He noted that business community is asked to pay all the taxes in time but they are not paid back for long which has shattered the investment climate.
The culture of flying invoices and fake refunds must be eliminated on all costs.