Gujarat High Court has asked the Centre to file its response to a petition challenging the validity of a clause in the goods and services tax (GST) law that denies benefits to traders who import input goods after their finished products are exported.
Noting that the government had not filed a reply until now, the court said it would otherwise summon the secretaries concerned to the courtroom to present the facts in the case.
The GST law had been amended to introduce a pre-import condition to be followed by exporters holding advance authorisation licences to avail of duty exemptions. The clause denies benefits of integrated goods and services tax — applicable to interstate transactions — to imports that take place after exports.
Advance authorisation licences are issued to allow duty-free import of inputs, which are used to make finished products for export.
“The implementation of such a condition will make life tough for exporters from the working capital perspective and one-to-one correlation with exports will only increase litigation, thereby, defeating the entire ease-ofdoing-business initiative,” said Abhishek A Rastogi, a partner at Khaitan & Co., who is representing the exporters.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, India’s primary anti-smuggling agency, has started issuing show-cause notices to exporters for wrongfully availing of exemptions in cases where their exports preceded imports. They were asked to pay IGST in cases where raw material was imported only after goods were partially or fully exported.
The tax department also claimed the exporters must pay IGST first as the foreign trade policy had been amended and the government had issued several notifications over the past six months.
Source- Economic Times.