Exporters on Thursday pressed the government for an early resolution of the GST-related problems that have affected shipments and sought stimulus measures by the government to revive sagging exports.
In their second meeting with finance minister Arun Jaitley in less than a week, the exporters have demanded expeditious refund of duties, deferment of filing of GST returns for six months and expansion of the ambit of the composition scheme among others.
The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) also said there should not be any tax burden on export sales and for imparting competitiveness, taxes may be refunded through duty drawback.
"In absence of clear refund timelines, the new duty drawback rates notified on September 21 have added to the woes of exporting and thus effecting their order book position. It is suggested that the transition period of drawback may be extended beyond September 30 2017 till December 31," FIEO President Ganesh Gupta said.
"The minister gave a sympathetic hearing to our concerns and assured all possible help. He has taken all our points positively," he added.
The FIEO also pressed for exemption from GST for merchant exporters, immediate start of the refund process with exporters facing liquidity issues and allowing export benefit scrips for payment of IGST and CGST.
"Small exporters are particularly hit with GST as they have to borrow money to pay GST. Availability and the cost of credit are adversely impacting them," he said.
The industry representatives also brought up compliance matters on which the finance minister invited suggestions to improve the GST implementation.
Traders, particularly SMEs, are facing issues in filing returns, which is increasing their compliance burden.
Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council chairman Praveenshankar Pandya said the sector is faced with a huge problem as exports are declining. They also demanded exemption from Integrated GST (IGST) on procurement of precious metals from nominated agencies for the purpose of manufacturing and export of jewellery.
"Small businesses are getting impacted more. Some have cut their productions also. We have raised the issue of compliance," Pandya said adding "We got a positive response from the minister. They would tabulate our demands and put before the GST Council".
Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) Council Member Satwinder Singh said concerns related to reverse charge mechanism and refund were raised in the meeting.
In a statement, CII has asked for special initiatives for promoting exports, including by addressing teething troubles for exporters under the GST regime.
"All import duties including IGST should be allowed to be debited under Advance Authorisation. Advance receipts for exports should be exempted from payment of IGST," it said.
Assocham said that filing of GST return has become nightmare for the taxpayers.
"Therefore at least for six months filing of GST return should be deferred. Composition Scheme should be applicable for small service providers (turnover up to Rs 50 lakh)," it said.
Representatives from KPMG, CII, Ficci, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Laghu Udyog Bharati, GST service providers, ICSI, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Amazon were present.