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Over 1,400 exporters claiming Rs 2,020 cr refunds untraceable

New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Around 1,474 'risky' exporters who have been claiming Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) refunds worth Rs 2,020 crore are untraceable and the government will take stern action against them, official sources said.

Updated Jul 26, 2020 15:30 PM

Over 1,400 exporters claiming Rs 2,020 cr refunds untraceable

According to the Finance Ministry sources, IGST refund has been suspended in all such cases where there is adverse report post verification about the exporter or his suppliers.

However, it has been learnt that Customs officials have been sensitized to expedite refunds to genuine exporters in these difficult COVID-19 days.

Ministry sources said that so far IGST refunds of more than Rs 1.37 lakh crore have been disbursed and only about Rs 2,026 crore is pending, which is being processed as per law.

A grievance redressal mechanism with a '24x7' mobile helpline is available to genuine exporters to resolve refund related issues.

Sources in the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) also said that some fake or risky exporters are already lobbying with some prominent trade associations to allege that genuine exporters are being harassed by being asked for over 1,500 documents each for conducting verification, which official sources term as "completely untrue".

CBIC verifies each exporter in two stage verification with hardly 3 to 4 documents as per requirement, sources added.

Sources said that data analytics by CBIC's Directorate General of Risk Management (DGARM) which is followed by field-level verification by CGST officers have found 1,474 'risky' exporters including 7 Star Exporters who tried to claim IGST refund of over Rs. 2,020 crore were untraceable at their declared place of business and therefore their refund has been rejected.

Out of the 1,474 untraceable exporters, 1,125 exporters are from Delhi alone, they said. Non-existing exporters have also been detected in large numbers at Surat (215), Thane (28), Faridabad (15) and Kolkata (11).

These fraudulent exporters were mainly involved in export of ready-made garments, wallpaper, wall coverings, leather apparel, smoking pipes, mobile phones, cigarette holders, footwear, plastics, floor coverings, ball bearings or roller bearings.

Out of the non-traceable 7 Star Exporters, five operated from Delhi, and one each from Mumbai and Kolkata. Adverse reports have been received in respect of other 3 Star Exporters, two in Mumbai and one in Jaipur.

These Star Exporters were involved in export of ready-made garments, kitchenware, utensils, sound system, amplifiers, microphones, sea food, shrimps, unstitched fabric, sarees, dupattas among others. They tried to claim IGST refund amounting to Rs 28.9 crores unsuccessfully.

Informed sources claimed that CBIC's data analytics based on 360 degree profiling of exporters using multiple data sources -- GST, Income Tax, Customs, DGFT and others -- is able to weed out fraudulent exporters from genuine ones with a high degree of success. The confirmation comes after CGST formations carry out a physical and financial verification of the risky exporters.

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