Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu, in a ministerial meeting on Wednesday, promised to address the problems faced by exporters and to take up the Goods and Service Tax (GST) refund issue with the Finance Ministry.
“I have asked exporters to give me details of the pending refunds. GST refund is a major issue for exports. I will take it up with the Finance Ministry,” Prabhu said.
Exporters have claimed that over 60 per cent of their refunds are caught in red tape. The delay in GST refund has blocked their working capital, they complained.
The government has sanctioned GST refunds to exporters to the tune of `17,616 crore till March 2018, of which `9,604 crore is on account of the Integrated GST refund and another `5,510 crore towards refund on input credit by the Centre.
“We need a concrete plan to work on that,” Prabhu said, adding that he would call a ministerial meeting to discuss issues pertaining to outbound shipments.
Apart from refunds, exporters also raised issues related to increasing logistics costs and inadequate infrastructure at ports.
In order to address the issues, Prabhu has sought a detailed action plan from exporters from all sectors in an interaction with them here.
India’s exports dipped after a gap of four months in March, but finished FY 2017-18 with a rise of 9.78 per cent to $302.84 billion.
The trade deficit remained a matter of concern and labour-intensive sectors such as gems and jewellery, RMG of all textiles, jute manufacturing including floor covering and carpets, and agri products were in the negative territory.
FIEO, the apex body of Indian export promotion organisations, said that these sectors, dominated by MSMEs, are still facing liquidity problems as banks and lending agencies are tightening norms.