The Finance Ministry on Friday clarified that the pending Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds on account of exports amounted to only Rs 20.77 bn till date.In a statement, the Ministry said, "It has been noticed that unverified reports of pending GST refunds on account of exports are published in the print media by trade bodies. These figures being put out in the public domain are exaggerated and thus inaccurate. It is a fact that a large number of exporters have been granted refunds so far while a few claims are still pending owing to deficiencies found in the claims." Rubbishing reports of pending amount of GST refunds, the Finance Ministry clarified that about 92.68 per cent (Rs 388.24 bn) of the total IGST refund claims (Rs 418.89 bn) transmitted to customs from Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) as on date have already been disposed of. The remaining claims amounting to Rs 30.65 bn were held up on account of various deficiencies which have been communicated to exporters for remedial action. In the case of RFD-01A (ITC Refund) claims with Centre and states, the pendency as on date is only Rs 20.77 bn. Out of the refund claims of Rs 393.72 bn received, provisional/final order has been issued in case of refunds amounting to Rs 323.45 bn. "In claims amounting to Rs 49.51 bn, deficiency memos have been issued. Thus, actual pendency is far less than is being put out for the knowledge of the public.
The overall disposal of GST refunds is Rs 711.69 bn till date. Refund claims without any deficiency are being cleared expeditiously," the Finance Ministry stated.The Ministry added that efforts are being made continuously to clear all the dues on account of pending refund claims. Co-operation of the exporter community is solicited to ensure that they exercise due diligence while filing GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B returns as well as shipping bills. It further said that extensive outreach programmes have been conducted along with the issuance of guidance circulars, advisories, advertisements and also an alternative procedure involving manual interface has been provided where the errors could not be corrected online. "The efforts are beginning to show positive results. The exporting community is assured that all their eligible refund claims will be sanctioned without any delay. Further, the export bodies are also requested to put out only verified figures in their press communication as unsubstantiated reports cause needless alarm amongst the exporters," the Ministry added.