- While the finance ministry has repeatedly promised to address the issue, it has refused to act decisively
- The ministry has said it will launch the second phase of refund in the fortnight beginning May 31 to fast-track clearances
NEW DELHI: After sitting on GST refunds of close to Rs 20,000 crore, the government on Tuesday promised to clear the dues after a top industry lobby group protested against holding back of funds .
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (Fieo) president Ganesh Gupta said refund of over Rs 20,000 crore was pending on account of IGST (integrated GST) and ITC (input tax credit). “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,” Gupta said, reiterating a concern that exporters have expressed for over six months now.
While the finance ministry has repeatedly promised to address the issue, it has refused to act decisively. On Tuesday, the ministry said it will launch the second phase of refund in the fortnight beginning May 31 to fast-track clearances.
“Special Refund Fortnight to be organised from May 31 to June 14 in which Centre and state GST officers will strive to clear all GST refund applications received on or before April 30, 2018,” the government tweeted from the official handle for GST-related matters.
In the first phase of refund fortnight observed between March 15 to March 30, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had cleared refunds of Rs 17,616 crore. This comprised Rs 9,604 crore of Integrated GST refunds, Rs 5,510 crore ITC refund by the Centre and Rs 2,502 crore ITC refund by states.
Exporters have repeatedly said the finance ministry’s position and the lack of support from the commerce department has resulted in a significant increase in their working capital requirements and impacting their competitiveness in the global market.
The Fieo president said since the GST refund process had considerably “slowed down”, the lobby group has urged the finance ministry to look into the refund problem and organise a clearance drive to bring the refund process on track. A majority of the problems, Gupta said, relate to ITC refund, which have to be done by the states as well.