Addressing a consultative dialogue on textile sector’s competitiveness amid COVID-19,’ Clelia Rontoyanni, Program Lead Public Sector Specialist, World Bank said, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has the potential to support exporters in these difficult times. Experts from public and private sectors, who participated in the dialogue, remarked that facilitation and appropriate taxation measures could play an instrumental role in enhancing the competitiveness of textile businesses and boosting exports.
According to Rontoyanni, tax authorities need to realize that two-thirds of imports are inputs for the manufacturing sector and therefore tariffs on inputs should be lowered. The World Bank official added that the tax system should be predictable and responsive to needs of the private sector.
Sharing his observations, Mohammad Raza Baqir, Former Member, FBR, said the textile sector was transitioning towards production of value-added goods. COVID-19 had adversely impacted the sector, hence, measures should be taken to facilitate it and overcome the unprecedented challenge, he said.
Another former member Raana Ahmed suggested that in view of COVID-19, the FBR could consider relaxing the burden of direct taxes on the textile sector. Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) argued that the data regarding request for tax refunds should be made public and online as it would allow everyone to get a clear picture of the exporters’ refunds and in case there were delays.