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Exporters have asked the government to organise the fourth tranche of its special refund fortnight to clear all the dues under the Goods & Services Tax (GST) regime as the pending claims were affecting their cash flow and competitiveness in the global market.

“Refund of IGST (Integrated GST) worth ₹ 8,000 crore and input tax credit (ITC) worth ₹ 15,000 crore are yet to be paid to exporters and it is causing a liquidity problem. In our meeting with Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu and senior officials from the Ministry, we have urged that urgent steps should be taken to clear the dues such as organising another clearance fortnight,” FIEO President Ganesh Kumar Gupta said at an interaction with the media on Wednesday.

With the government looking at ways to reduce the widening trade deficit, exporters are of the view that improving their liquidity position could go a long way in improving exports. “The government is looking at an export growth of 16 per cent this year. With timely refund, we could try to achieve a growth rate of 21-22 per cent,” Gupta said.

Last year, India’s exports grew 9.7 per cent to $302.84 billion. In the April-August 2017-18 period, exports had posted a growth of 16 per cent, which the government is hopeful of maintaining it for the entire fiscal.

Gupta said that while the refund process has improved over the last six months, refunds can only be claimed after manufacturing of goods and exports with a lead time of about 3-9 months depending on the production cycle. “If the EU has worked out an exemption regime for exports, there must be some merit in it and we should also provide the same to our exporters to create a level-playing field,” he said.

For Indian exporters, ITC refund is a great problem as it is partly electronic and partly manual. The exporter files refund application on the portal, takes a print out along with an acknowledgement and carries it to the GST authority together with the required documents, the demand for which varies depending upon the official handling the matter, FIEO said.

“The GST Network may be asked to develop a complete EDI processing for ITC refund as has been done for IGST refund so that there is no human intervention and the process becomes seamless,” Gupta said.

By the end of the third edition of the special refund fortnight on July 31,2018, organised by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the total amount of IGST refund claims disposed was worth ₹ 29,829 crore taking the disposal rate to 93 per cent, as per government figures. IGST refund worth ₹ 3,391 crore were sanctioned by CBIC during the fortnight.

Source : Thehindubusinessline

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