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Exporters claim refunds

New Delhi, Dec. 16: Exporters today claimed that shipments were getting affected because of the continued delay in duty refund, which has crossed over Rs 4,800 crore in the past few months.

“We have been requesting the customs authorities to clear the claims, but they do not seem to be responding. They appear to be more concerned about meeting their revenue targets,” Rafeeq Ahmed, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (Fieo), told reporters here today.

He said liquidity was a big issue for exports and pending claims of service tax refunds, duty drawback, rebate claims and VAT were affecting exports.

Duty drawback is the rebate on taxes paid on an imported input, which is used for exports.

Exports increased 5.86 per cent to $24.6 billion in November, the slowest in five months, as shipments of petroleum goods and rough diamonds decreased. In April-November, exports grew 6.27 per cent to $204 billion, while imports stood at $304 billion.

“At present, out of 118 ports, duty drawback claims are pending in 103 ports to the tune of Rs 4,821 crore against the normal pendency of Rs 1,000 crore or less,” Ahmed said. “They (customs authorities) are simply saying that they cannot do anything. For them, their revenue target is more important,” he said.

Ahmed said at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai, duty refund claims of Rs 1,593 crore were pending, while at Chennai and Calcutta ports the claims were at Rs 802 crore and Rs 270 crore, respectively. “SME exporters will be worst hit because of this,” he said. He said VAT claims in states such as Bengal, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra were very high. If the claims continue to rise like this “India may not be able to achieve the desired growth in exports”.

 
 
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