To ease exporters’ GST refund woes, revenue authorities will set up camps across the country for a fortnight beginning March 15, CBEC Chairperson Vanaja Sarna said today.
The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has already given refunds to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore but as much as 70 per cent of total refunds to exporters is still stuck even after eight months of GST roll out.
Sarna said there are instances of exporters committing errors while filing refund claims and to help them, the department has started giving out refunds partially with manual intervention.
“Now to solve it completely we have instituted a special fortnight campaign, starting from March 15 which will go on till March 29. There are going to be camps all over the country so that all exporters can come with refund problem and they will be explained what their problem is, they will be asked to rectify it and then the process will completed and refund will be given.
“So we hope that by March 31 all pending refunds as far as exporters are concerned will be sorted out,” Sarna said.
The issue of refunds to exporters has been hanging fire for over five months now, with exporters complaining that delay in GST refunds has blocked their working capital.
The revenue department, on the other hand, has argued that there are discrepancies in forms submitted by exporters with the customs department and those with the GST Network (GSTN).
The GST Council in its meeting today decided to implement e-wallet scheme for refunds to exporters by October 1. Under the e-wallet mechanism, a notional credit would be transferred to the exporters account based on their past record and the credit can be used to pay taxes on input.
To ease exporter woes, the Council has also allowed exporters to continue to claim tax exemptions till October 1, 2018.
Accordingly, merchant exporters can pay a tax at the rate of 0.1 per cent on goods procured for export purposes and obtain a refund for the same.
Also, domestic procurement made under Advance Authorisation, EPCG and EOU schemes are being recognised as ‘deemed exports’ with flexibility for either the suppliers or the exporters being able to claim a refund of GST/IGST paid thereon.
An official statement issued after the Council’s meeting said that the CBEC and GSTN have started detailed data analytics and preliminary data analysis has revealed that there is variance between the amount of Integrated GST (IGST) and compensation cess paid by importers at Customs ports and input tax credit for the same claimed in GSTR-3B.
Besides, it has come to light that there are major data gaps between self declared liability in GSTR-1and GSTR-3B.
“It was deliberated that this information may be further analysed and adequate action may be initiated accordingly,” the statement added.