Mumbai – Engineering Export Promotion Council of India, has asked the Indian government to intercede and push that the exporters get at least 90% of the GST refunds right immediately after the shipping bills are filed with the authorities.

Expressing a lot of confidence in Mr. Suresh Prabhu, who is the newly appointed Commerce and Industry minister, EEPC Chairman Mr. TS Bhasin said that Prabhu should intervene with the finance ministry and the GST Council and thus get relief for the exporters. The relief that he mentioned should be regarding the returns, i.e., the release of at least 90% goods and services tax (GST) refund on the submission of the shipping bills in case the government feels that GST exemption is not feasible.

EEPC was of the opinion that though the government eased out things by extending the deadlines for filing July returns for GST to September 10th, 25th, and 30th and for August to October 5th, 10th and 15th but then that would mean the exporters would not get their refunds back. This is going to be hard for exporters who are pressed for money and liquid cash. Also, the continuous rise of the rupee against the dollar has only added to their woes.

As per the “back of envelope” calculations as much as ₹ 1,520 crores would be held up until the third week of October for the returns of July.If the integrated goods and services tax (IGST) paid by the exporters the dues to be paid to the exporting community by the government would be more than ₹ 1,700 crores for the month of July.

This is only going to make the exports much more uncompetitive in the market, and it will only add to the cost of the exporters who might be expecting immediate returns in the form of liquid cash. The exporters overall have been facing a lot of problem regarding the cash flows because of their funds have been locked up in the GST refunds with the government authorities.

EEPC was of the view that in the situations like these where the dates to file returns have been extended, it would be the best if the government releases the monies as a bulk refund to all the exporters immediately based on the shipping bills that have been uploaded. The exporters file the shipping bills with the Indian Customs Electronic Commerce/ Electronic Data Interchange (EC/EDI) Gateway (ICEGATE).

The verifications of the bills and the various adjustments at the government end can take place later based on the respective GST filings by the exporters. This will also help the small and medium businesses who export, to pay the salaries to their employees and bonuses as well during the festive season.

EEPC said that this would be the best strategy to follow by the government to avoid a mini social crisis and eradicate the desperate situation that seems to be building.