The problems faced by exporters after the introduction of unified tax regime, Goods and Services Tax (GST), has drawn attention of the government. In pursuance of the decisions taken in the 21st Meeting of GST Council held on September 9, 2017 at Hyderabad, the Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) and a Committee on Exports, to monitor and resolve the information technology (IT) challenges faced in the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
On September 12, government has notified the formation of two bodies. The GoM is constituted with Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi, as convenor.
The other members of the GoM are Amar Agarwal, Minister for Commercial Taxes, Government of Chhatisgarh; Krishna Byregowda, Minister for Agriculture, Government of Karnataka; Dr. T.M. Thomas Isaac, Finance Minister, Government of Kerala and Etela Rajendra, Finance Minister, Government of Telengana.
The GoM will be assisted in its work by the Chairman, Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) and the Chief Executive Officer, GSTN, an official statement from finance ministry said.
Meanwhile, the Committee on Exports has been constituted under Revenue Secretary, Hasmukh Adhia, to look at the issues of export sector and to recommend the GST Council suitable strategy for helping the export sector in the post GST scenario.
This Committee will consist of the Chairperson, CBEC; Member (Customs), CBEC; Director General, DGFT; Additional Secretary, GST Council; Director General, DG Export Promotion from the Central Government and Commissioners of Commercial Taxes from the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
"It was a long part of our discussion, how best we could facilitate the exporters who are facing delays with consignments due to IT issues," said Adhia, speaking to reporters.
It is worth to note that thousands of exporters and export dependent industries have been facing problems with shipment of goods at Indian ports post July 1, 2017, when GST was implemented.
Exports growth had hit a seven month low in July at 3.94 per cent compared to 6.26 per cent growth in the same month last year. India’s exports grew 4.7 per cent in 2016-17, after two years of continuous decline. Exports had contributed 0.4 percentage point to GDP growth in 2016-17, after a turnaround in export performance only last year. The Indian rupee has risen 7 per cent against the US Dollar in the last three months, RBI data showed.
"GST has led to a huge amount of capital blockage for all exporters, as the government is still resolving some inter departmental confusions with clarifications," said M Rafeeque Ahmed, vice president, Federation of Indian Exporters Organisation (FIEO).
"Other than GST, the appreciation of rupee has also created concern about making Indian manufactured goods less competitive, in global markets" said Ahmed.