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Quarterly Conference of Collectors of Sales Tax & Federal Excise & Collectors (Appeals), held here today under the chairmanship of the Secretary General, Revenue Division & Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue, Mr. M. Abdullah Yusuf, has decided to make e-filing of sales tax returns mandatory from 1st July, 2008.
During the Conference, it was informed that total sales tax collection in first nine month of current financial year (July-March) was Rs. 258.4 billion as compared to Rs. 218.4 bn in the corresponding period of the last financial year, showing an increase of Rs. 40 billion.
Major sectors which have shown positive growth as compared to last year were Telecom (24.6%), POL (48.9%), Natural Gas (4.3%), Sugar (1.3%), Cigarettes (18.4%), Services (20.3%), Aerated Waters/Concentrate of beverages (24.9%), Iron & Steel (112.2%) etc.
In federal excise, the total collection from July 2007 to March, 2008 (9 month) was Rs. 61.8 billion as compared to Rs.47.72 billion in the same period last year, indicating an increase of Rs. 14.08 billion. Major revenue spinners showing positive growth were Cigarettes (18.94%), Natural Gas (8%), Services (252%) etc.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman called upon the Collectors to intensify their efforts to enhance revenue collection. In this regard, he emphasised on conducting sectoral research to identify the gap between the revenue potential existing in various sectors of the country and the taxes they were actually paying. We have to narrow down this gap to enhance the sales tax and federal excise collection. To achieve this objective, we need to implement a comprehensive strategy, he added.
Talking on the issue of sales tax refund claims, the Chairman stressed the need of removing all the bottlenecks confronting the system to deal with the issue in an effective manner. “We must know what is actually to be paid”, he remarked.
He, however, underlined the need of clearly identifying the level & type of the refund problem. All genuine refund claims must be cleared after due verification by the system and all efforts must be directed towards narrowing down the issue, Mr. Yusuf emphasised.
Commenting on automation systems, currently operating in various FBR offices, the Chairman emphasised that all these systems must be effective, reliable and productive and give the desired results. “Incompleteness of the automated systems creates problems”, Mr. Abdullah Yusuf observed.
Revenue impact of new budgetary measures, taken in the last budget, was also reviewed during the Conference and termed it satisfactory. Budget proposals for the year 2008-09, measures for expeditious feeding of sales tax returns, recovery of arrears, audit performance of collectorates adjudication pendency etc. also came under discussion and necessary decisions were taken.