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Apparel exporters have brought up the problems faced by them post-GST before a parliamentary panel, signalling the “strong likelihood” of a decline in garment shipments from India and the possibility of job losses. The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) made a presentation to the Parliamentary Standing Committee (Rajya Sabha) on Commerce chaired by Naresh Gujral earlier this week.
The body pressed for early consideration of tax refunds blocked on the purchase of ginned cotton (agricultural inputs such as machinery, seeds, fertilisers, power, diesel and the like) and miscellaneous central or state levies such as power cross subsidy, stamp duty, property tax and others for refund under Rebate of State Levies.The council also drew the attention of the committee to the issue of extending exemption of integrated GST on import under Export Promotion Capital Goods or Advance Authorisation from March 31, 2018, to December 31, 2018, to provide a longer window for investment decisions. It also asked for allowing utilisation of MEIS scrips for use in payment of CGST, SGST and IGST to ease the challenges of working capital blockage and other procedural issues. To arrest the decline in exports, the AEPC suggested that the competitive exchange rate and rupee appreciation be stabilised.