FBR’s FASTER module fails to timely process sales tax refunds

KARACHI: SITE Association of Industry has criticized the poor performance of the recently launched Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refunds (FASTER) module, and stating contrary to FBR’s claims of processing payments of Sales Tax Refunds within 72 hours through FASTER module, exporters had not received anything.

Suleman Chawla, President of SITE Association of Industry, pointed out that many exporters had not received outstanding refunds for July 2019 which was really worrisome and too disappointing for the business and industrial community.

“FASTER module was launched with a commitment to release refunds within 72 hours but it was not happening at all, which has intensified the hardships for exporters who are finding it almost impossible to stay afloat due to delays in release of refund claims and rescission of SRO 1125(I)/2011, which allowed zero-rating of inputs of five export-oriented sectors”.

Chawla said it had been a month since the first tranche was processed via FASTER module but many exporters had not received funds, creating severe liquidity crunch for the exporters from five export-oriented industries. “FASTER system has failed miserably to improve the situation in fact it has made the refunds process more cumbersome and slower”.

He was fairly optimistic that keeping in view the government’s resolve towards ensuring the Ease of Doing Business, the decision makers would pay attention to this serious issue and order the concerned department to improve FASTER’s performance which would certainly be warmly welcomed by business community of Karachi but also by all other stakeholders from across the country.

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