MULTAN - Chief Commissioner Inland Revenue Multan Aasim Ahmed has revealed that the Chairman of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will announce a comprehensive policy regarding the payment of sales tax refunds in the first week of September.

Addressing the members of Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) here on Tuesday, he added that the issue of tax refund payment stood at the top of the priority of the government and it would be resolved very soon. He said that the present government had paid Rs26.43 billion sales tax refunds to traders and exporters covering 10,439 RPOs on August 8. He suggested to the business community to propose a timeline for payment of big cases of income tax refunds. He assured that refund cases up to Rs one million would be cleared very soon. He pointed out that errors and omissions in refund documents were main cause of the delay in payment. He added that RPOs would be eventually reprocessed and verified under the new exercise being carried out by the field formations. He assured the MCCI members that the FBR did not use any delaying tactics to delay their cases. Chief Commissioner asked the businessmen to contact him directly in case of high handedness on part of any official. He said that he was duty bound to facilitate the tax payers and to resolve their problems. Aasim Ahmed said that he had called a report of all pending cases within a week. He further said that Deputy Commissioner income tax (Head quarter) would also serve as Deputy Commissioner (Registration). To a Question Chief Commissioner told that RTO Multan had issued sales tax refunds of Rs.300 million and further improvement was expected in a couple of months. He offered to Multan Chamber to nominate its two representatives for tax advisory committee and FBR would notify their names immediately.

He said that people were not ready to submit tax returns but the FBR had to achieve the target of new tax payers with the cooperation and assistance of industrialists and businessmen. He assured that  next part of the refund commitment would soon be fulfilled by making payments against RPOs with amount more than Rs1 million .These refund payments would not only cover exporters but all other claimants in all sectors of economy. This would resolve liquidity problems that the taxpayers are facing, he added. He said that to fulfil the commitment FBR is forwarding electronic payment advice to State Bank of Pakistan.

In his welcome address MCCI President Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi said that tax collectors would have to alleviate the fear among the general public before expanding their tax-net. He said that it was pity that less than one million people out of total 210 million people were paying taxes because people were are highly terrified with the behaviour and procedure of income tax department. He suggested that Government should introduce an incentive for large taxpayers.

The meeting was also attended by Khawaja Muhammad Younas Chairman of APBUMA, President of Multan Industrial Estate Management Company Khawaja Muhammad Azam, Ex-President of FPCCI Mian Tanvir Ahmed Sheikh, Ex-Presidents of MCCI Mian Mughis A Sheikh, Mian Farid Mughis Sheikh, Bakhtawar Tanvir Sheikh, Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners of RTO Multan.

Moot on food at BZU

Speakers at a seminar stressed the need on Tuesday for a robust collaboration between universities and food industry to develop the industry on advanced grounds and introduce new inventions to the industry.

“Not only will it secure our food but also make up its shortage,” the speakers added while addressing the seminar titled “New Food Products are a Guarantee to Progress” jointly organised by the Institute of Food and Nutrition Sciences of BZ University and ORIC. Speaking on this occasion, Prof. Muhammad Riaz said that the students and teachers conducted valuable research in the varsity which could help establish food industry on latest lines. He said that the BZU was highly interested in taking its research to the food industry.

Addressing the seminar, Shahid Hafeez Khan, product development manager of a food company from Saudia, said that we needed to introduce new ideas and innovation to give a boost to the food industry. He stressed upon the participants of the seminar to focus the commercial aspect before producing any new product. “The market is highly competitive and you need to be aware of as to how to get your market share and how to commercialise it,” he added. He said that only those food industries would survive in the market which would adopt innovation.

Research and Development Manager of a local food industry Sheikh Muhammad Arif said that the food Industry was meant to introduce new food items. “But we need to keep in mind before launching any new product that whether or not this item is required by the market. We need to keep forth the market trends,” he added.

The representatives of many other food and beverages companies also attended the seminar.