NEW DELHI: Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will help improve exports and assured exporters that they would get their tax refunds within 6 to 10 days under the new regime.
"I feel the GST is only going to help in improving our exports and also since the input credits have been very well worked out the inputs for exporters is going to cost less and they are going to be far more competitive. Exports are zero rated and will be refunded. There will be an ease of refund in the system," Nirmala Sitharaman said recently where she detailed the performance of her Ministry during the Narendra Modi Government.
“On the refund, we are very very clear that 90% of the advanced money (paid by exporters in the GST regime) will be refunded within 6 to 10 days, after which an interest of about 6% will be given for any delay by the Government to exporters," she said.
Sitharaman also said her Ministry had requested the GST Council to devise an alternative system of refunds for small and medium enterprises instead of asking them to pay first and then claim the refund.
She said the export performance in the past few months have been encouraging and asserted that it would be sustained in the months ahead. "Notwithstanding the global headwinds, our exporters have really performed. Some of the sectors have withstood the headwinds and performed consistently in the last six months and maintained the upward trend. Our exports are living up to expectations," she said adding that schemes devised by the Ministry had helped arrest the decline. She said the upward trend in exports was sustainable. Exports rose 5% to reach $276 billion in 2016-17 and in the past few months had reversed the declining trend. Commenting on the concern of exporters over the appreciation of the rupee, Sitharaman said they are fairly seized of this. "Currency fluctuation has become a new normal."
"But, if there are extreme fluctuations, it is for the RBI to look at intervening just that much, so that, any extreme fluctuations are taken care of," she said adding that the value of the rupee was market determined.