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Web Exclusive | June 2018

GST refund process being hastened

The Indian Government has hastened the GST refund process for exporters and may clear all pending dues soon. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has directed its field officers to monitor refund claims closely and ensure timely disbursals following a marathon meeting of concerned ministers with industry bodies over the issue. Official sources said Piyush Goyal, who has taken temporary charge of the Finance Ministry, and Textiles Minister Smriti Irani had long meeting with export promotion councils (EPCs) and industry associations to resolve the issue of pending refunds which have been hurting exporters. They reviewed the processes and solved the nagging problems under the aegis of Arun Jaitley, the Union finance and corporate affairs minister, who is recovering from a kidney transplant.

In a circular to all principal chief commissioners and director generals, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs said exporters whose refunds are stuck have committed mistake while filing GSTR-1 and 3B. Besides, there are certain cases where they have ?short paid/integrated GST (IGST) vis-a-vis their liability declared in GSTR-1.

In the first phase of refund fortnight observed between March 15 and March 30, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs had cleared refunds totalling 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 the States. As delay in refunds results in severe liquidity problems for exporters, provisional refund of 90 per cent should be sanctioned within 7 days of filing as per the statutory provisions. Any deviation with the statutory timelines can be taken to Court by way of writ petitions especially in case there is a considerable delay. Special refund drives initiated by the government is a welcome move but should be implemented in spirit, said Abhishek A Rastogi, partner at Khaitan & Co.

Meanwhile,The SRTEPC has informed that the Office of the Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai has issued an Office Order No.09/2018 dated May, 2018 informing about the IGST Exports Refund Facilitation Center being formed at New Custom House, Mumbai for the redressal of issues faced by trade in getting lGST refund.

The facilitation centre shall be functional from May 31, 2018 to June 14, 2018. The centre will be located within the premises of New Custom House at 3rd floor, Drawback section, Annexe Building, New Custom House, Ballard Estate, Mumbai – 400 001.

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