Exporters claim Rs 20,000 cr GST refund pending with govt

Exporters on Tuesday claimed that Rs 20,000 crore of the GST refund is still pending with the government, with their apex body Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) urging the finance minister to look into the issue.

“The GST refund process has considerably slowed down after the clearance fortnight. The FIEO urges the finance minister to look into the refund problem and organise a clearance drive to liquidate the pendency and bring the refund process on track,” FIEO President Ganesh Gupta told reporters here.

While claims of over Rs 7,000 crore were cleared during March, 2018, the amount in April, 2018, is little over Rs 1,000 crore. As per our estimate, refund of over Rs 20,000 crore is pending on account of IGST and input tax credit (ITC) and many exporters have not been able to file the refund of ITC due to technical glitches, as input tax credit and exports happened in different months, he said.

“Liquidity is a major area of concern particularly for MSME exporters, which constitutes the bulk of exports in high employment-intensive sectors. The challenges on GST front are continuing though the fortnight clearance drive, which was highly successful, gave us the hope that refund will be provided on real time basis,” Gupta said.

He said that the major challenge on ITC refund is partly electronic and partly manual which is cumbersome and add to the transaction cost.

“The tax authorities are reluctant to accept the applications and raise piecemeal objections asking for irrelevant documents including copy of bank realization certificate,” he said.

Gupta raised concerns about the lack of updation of software and training of tax authorities in GST laws, rules and regulations.

Gupta said the provision that 90% of ITC refund will be issued within seven days is not being implemented by tax authorities. Some of the states say that they do not have funds to clear the ITC refund, he said.

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