Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu today assured exporters of taking up the issue of GST refund with the finance ministry. Exporters are claiming that over 60 per cent of their refunds are still stuck with the government. “I have asked them (exporters) to give me the details of the pending refund. GST refund is a major issue for exports. I will take it up with the finance ministry,” he said.
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) is of the view that the refund filing mechanism should be made completely online and the pending GST refund released immediately to help exporters tide over the cash crunch. The issue has been hanging fire for over five months now with exporters complaining that delay in GST refund has blocked their working capital. Prabhu also said the government is taking all steps to further boost the country’s exports.
Speaking to FIEO members here, he asked them to prepare a detailed action plan of all sectors and sub-sectors suggesting ways to promote their exports. “We need a concrete plan to work on that,” he said adding the Centre is also involving States to help boost the export. Prabhu also informed that he would be calling a ministerial meeting to discuss issues pertaining to outbound shipments.
He exuded confidence that exports during 2018-19 would be better than the previous year. India’s exports dipped after a gap of four months in March but finished 2017-18 with a healthy rise of 9.78 per cent to USD 302.84 billion.
Exporters raised issues related with GST refund, increasing logistics costs and inadequate infrastructure at ports. The government has sanctioned GST refunds to exporters to the tune of Rs 17,616 crore till March. Of this, Rs 9,604 crore is on account of integrated GST refund and another Rs 5,510 crore on account of refund on input credit.
Besides, another Rs 34,000 crore has been refunded on account of duty drawback and Rebate of State Levies (ROSL). The minister also participated in Swachh Bharat Parv here and said cleanliness would help promote tourism in the country.