Collector given powers to sanction unlimited refund amount

Collector given powers to sanction unlimited refund amount

In a significant development, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has granted unprecedented powers to the collector of customs, allowing them to sanction an unlimited amount of refunds.

The move is part of the FBR’s ongoing efforts to streamline customs processes and expedite the refund system.

The FBR officially announced this decision through SRO 342(I)/2023, dated March 13, 2023. This Statutory Regulatory Order empowers customs officials to approve refund claims, encompassing customs duty and various other taxes. The primary objective behind this initiative is to enhance efficiency and responsiveness in dealing with refund requests within the customs domain.

Under the provisions of the SRO, the FBR has delineated the powers of customs officers to sanction refund claims based on the amounts involved, considering the specific jurisdiction of each officer. Notably, the Collector of Customs has been granted an unprecedented authority with no specified limit on the amount of refund claims they can approve.

Furthermore, the Additional Director of Customs has been given the authority to sanction refund claims up to a limit of Rs2.5 million. This move aims to distribute responsibilities efficiently while maintaining a system of checks and balances within the customs hierarchy.

The Deputy Collector of Customs has also received enhanced powers, now capable of approving refund claims not exceeding Rs1 million. This delegation of authority ensures that mid-level customs officials can promptly address and sanction smaller refund claims, contributing to an overall reduction in processing times.

Similarly, the Assistant Collector of Customs has been granted the authority to approve refund claims not exceeding Rs0.2 million. This measure targets the expeditious handling of relatively smaller refund requests, further facilitating businesses and traders who operate within the specified monetary limits.

The FBR emphasized that these new powers granted to customs officials align with the government’s commitment to fostering a business-friendly environment and improving the ease of doing business in the country. By reducing bureaucratic hurdles and expediting the refund approval process, the FBR aims to encourage trade and investment while ensuring a fair and transparent customs framework.

The decision has been met with positive responses from various quarters, including businesses, trade associations, and experts in the field. Many believe that this step will not only enhance the overall efficiency of customs processes but also contribute to building trust between the government and the business community.

In conclusion, the FBR’s authorization of unlimited refund sanctioning powers to the Collector of Customs, along with specified limits for other officials, marks a significant step towards a more responsive and business-friendly customs environment in Pakistan. This move is expected to have positive ramifications for the economy by facilitating trade and ensuring a smoother refund process for businesses of all sizes.