NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister’s Office has finally decided to intervene between the Commerce Ministry and Finance Ministry and has called for a top-level meeting on Monday after both ministries failed to reach a consensus on blocking of exporters’ GST refunds worth Rs 100 crore.
“There are disagreement between the Finance Ministry and Commerce Ministry over GST refunds. While the Revenue Department felt there were discrepancies in the forms filed by exporters, the Commerce Ministry wanted refunds to be cleared. So, after exporters flagged the issue, the PMO tried to intervene,” a senior Finance Ministry official said.The issue of refunds to exporters has been hanging fire for over five months now. Exporters claim over 70% of their GST refunds are stuck with the government.
Since the launch of GST, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has sanctioned Rs 40 billion worth refunds to exporters in four months since October.
They flagged their concerns to both ministries and on several forums. Exporters say this has blocked their capital and will affect commerce.
The meeting would be attended by Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, CBEC Chairperson Vanaja Sarna and top officials from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
The DGFT, under the Commerce Ministry, is slated to make a presentation before the Principal Secretary to the PM on the pending refunds to exporters.
The GST Council, in its latest meeting, deferred the e-wallet mechanism for refunds to exporters for the next meet and Vanaja Sarna said the government would set up camps from March 15 to process refunds.