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This is apropos a Business Recorder op-ed "Export growth dependent upon sales tax refunds" carried by the newspaper yesterday. The writer, Tahir Jahangir, who is widely known as a successful businessman, has strongly advocated a key point. He appears to have echoed the sentiments or grievances of all exporters completely. According to him, "it would be better to revert to the older system of industry wide declared refunds which are paid as soon as exports are made. So, for example, it is determined by the FBR assisted by other experts including industry representatives that for a particular industry, say terry towel, the average sales tax refund for the whole industry would come to say 14 percent of the export value of the towels; then that should be declared as the refund rate for towels. It should be payable upon each shipment as soon as exports are affected. This will half the waiting time for refunds being faced by exporters. More importantly, it will take away the suspense of waiting and wondering when the refunds will be paid."

His is a highly valuable suggestion. The authorities concerned must look into it with a view to boosting export growth. Non-payment or delayed payment of refunds has been playing the role of barriers to export growth. That critically of exports in relation to country's economy cannot be underestimated is a fact.

KHALID KHAN (KARACHI)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020