GST Council: Sending a strong positive signal to the exporting community, the GST Council in its 26th meeting held on 10-03-2018, decided to extend the current tax exemptions on imported goods for a further period of 6 months, i.e., beyond 31-03-2018. Thus, exporters presently availing various export promotion schemes can now continue to avail such exemptions on their imports upto 01-10-2018, by which time an e-Wallet scheme [to be credited with notional/virtual currency by DGFT, for use by exporters to make payments of GST/IGST on goods imported/procured so that their funds are not blocked] is expected to be introduced w.e.f. 01-04-2018 to continue the benefits in future.
In a related development which would benefit the exporters, the Council directed GSTN to expeditiously forward the balance refund claims to the Customs/CGST/SGST authorities, for their immediate sanction and disbursal, with a further direction to all the State tax authorities to proactively clear refund claims. CBEC has taken the initiative to observe a special drive refund sanction fortnight from 15-03-2018 to 29-03-2018 on an all India scale, with special refund cells manned by experienced staff being put in place throughout the country.
In the meeting held on 06-10-2017, the Council had noted difficulties of cash blockage experienced by exporters on account of upfront payment of GST/IGST on inputs, raw materials or finished goods imported/procured for exports and thus had suggested an interim solution by re-introducing pre-GST tax exemptions on such imports, and for merchant exporters a special scheme of payment of GST @ 0.1% on their procured goods was also introduced. Also, domestic procurement made under Advance Authorization, EPCG and EOU schemes were recognized as ‘deemed exports’ with flexibility for either suppliers or exporters being able to claim refund of GST/IGST. All of these avenues were made available upto 31-03-2018.
On 16-12-2017, a Working Group with representatives of Central and State Governments to operationalize the e-Wallet scheme was constituted by the Finance Secretary. The Council being unanimous that there should be no disruption in any manner to affect the exports accordingly agreed to defer the implementation of the e-Wallet scheme by 6 months, i.e., upto 01-10-2018 and extended the present dispensation in terms of exemptions, for a further period of 6 months i.e., upto 01-10-2018.
[Source: Press Information Bureau]
MINISTRY OF FINANCE