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Exporters demand GSTN, NSDL online linkage for GST refunds

The Export Promotion Council for EOUs & SEZs, has sought a linkage between the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) portal and the NSDL portal, for smooth facilitation of the GST refunds.
One of the major complaints of the exporters has been the delay in refunds, which is affecting their working capital requirements. The suggestion was made during an open house, which saw over 250 exporters from EOUs and SEZs all over the country converge in Delhi on April 25 to interact with officials of commerce, finance ministries and GSTN officials to resolve the operational issues and concerns of exporters with reference to the GST.
Exporters have claimed that over 60 per cent of their refunds are stuck at the moment. The government has sanctioned GST refunds to exporters to the tune of Rs 17,616 crore till March.
Another important suggestion was about the option for SEZ units to claim refund of the GST charged by suppliers. Currently, a supplier can provide goods/services to units in SEZ under LUT (Legal Undertaking) without payment of IGST, alternately they can reclaim the refund. Many suppliers do not want to go for LUT or refund process and charging GST in their invoice, which is a cost burden for SEZ Unit. Under the existing law there is no option for SEZ unit to claim the refund of the same.
The ministry officials on Wednesday announced that they will develop a process of claiming refund by SEZ Units. The GSTN team will enable facility of refund claim by supplier to EOU Unit for deemed export. They will also enable claiming refund for more than one month. GSTN team is also working towards changing of category as SEZ Unit/ SEZ Developer instead of regular. The open house also wanted the government to be wary of rulings like the recent one, which made GST applicable on supply of goods from Duty free shops at airport.
In addition to refunds, the nature of complaints were related to issues related to exemption of GST, classification of goods and services and operational issues related to GSTN. The officials, who participated in the open house include Arun Goyal, Special Secretary, GST Council, Yogendra Garg, Additional Director General, Directorate of GST, L.B. Singhal, Development Commissioner, Noida SEZ and Dheeraj Rastogi, Joint Secretary, GST Council, Vice President GSTIN.
“We have compiled all the suggestions and made a written representation to Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Ministry of Finance, CBEC, CBDT, NSDL and members of the GST Council,” Vinay Sharma, Chairman of the EPCES said.
The combined merchandise and software exports from SEZs in India in 2017-18 has been Rs 5,51,344 crores as against Rs 4,68,567 crores last year. Export Promotion Council for EOUs & SEZs represents the EOU/SEZ Sector, which has approximately 6,000 operational EOUs/SEZ Units/SEZ Developers spread all over the country which contribute to approximately 30 per cent of national exports.