"Cash flow of SME exporters is already at the stray. As we all know that the banks are very-very jittery to give advances to SMEs, so they (SMEs) are more depending on their draw back refunds for the cash flow to coming, once it stops they will be the worst hit on this. At present, out of 118 ports, in 103 ports duty drawback claims alone are pending to the tune of Rs 4,821 crore as against the normal pendency of Rs 1,000 crore or less,” FIEO President Rafeeque Ahmed said in a press meet in New Delhi.
He alleged that the customs authorities have been continuously refusing the associations request to clear the claims and that they seem to be more concerned about meeting their revenue targets. Rafeeque noted that pending claims of refund of service tax, duty drawback, rebate claims and VAT are seriously affecting exports. He also raised concerns about the raising transaction costs affecting SMEs who dominate Exim transactions in volume terms.
VAT claims in many states including West Bengal, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are very high. Duty refund claims of Rs. 1,593 crore are pending at Jawaharlal Nehru Port, while at Chennai and Calcutta sea ports they are at Rs. 802 crore and 270 crore respectively. If the current scenario continues, India will not be able to achieve the desired growth in exports, Rafeeque said.