Trade Board to take up exporters’ demand on state taxes refund

Trade Board to take up exporters’ demand on state taxes refund

New Delhi: Commerce and Industry minister Anand Sharma may discuss the demands of exporters like setting up of an inter-ministerial grievance cell and refund of state indirect taxes with noted industrialists next week.

If a consensus is reached, those may become part of the foreign trade policy (FTP) that would be unveiled by the end of this month, a senior government official said.

The Board of Trade (BoT), headed by Sharma and comprising industrialists such as Anand Mahindra and Azim Premji, is meeting on 10 August to provide inputs on the FTP, which is being formulated at a time when India’s exports are on a downslide since October 2008.

“Exporters are demanding a grievance redressal forum where they could take up the problems they face during their dealings with different ministries like finance, railway and shipping and the BoT may take it up," the official said.

At present there are two broad forums -- one each in commerce ministry and Customs -- to redress the problems of exporters.

The official said the matter of reimbursement of state indirect taxes like octroi, electricity duty and mandi tax that the exporters pay may also come up for discussion.

The commerce ministry has also asked the empowered group of state finance ministers to take up the issue in its next meeting likely this month.