New Delhi: Industry bodies and exporters raised their concerns related to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), including timely refund of duties, with finance minister Arun Jaitley at a meeting on Thursday.

“The minister gave a sympathetic hearing to our concerns and assured all possible help. He has taken all our points positively," Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) president Ganesh Gupta told reporters after the meeting.

FIEO pressed for exemption from GST for merchant exporters, immediate start of the refund process with exporters facing liquidity issues and allowing export benefit scrips for payment of IGST and CGST.

“Small exporters are particularly hit with GST as they have to borrow money to pay GST. Availability and the cost of credit is adversely impacting them. The government should consider introduction of e-wallet for exporters," he said.

The industry representatives also brought up compliance matters on which the finance minister invited suggestions to improve the GST implementation.

Traders, particularly SMEs, are facing issues in filing returns, which is increasing their compliance burden. Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council chairman Praveenshankar Pandya said the sector is faced with a huge problem as exports are declining.

They also demanded exemption from Integrated GST (IGST) on procurement of precious metals from nominated agencies for the purpose of manufacturing and export of jewellery.

“Small businesses are getting impacted more. Some have cut their productions also. We have raised the issue of compliance," Pandya said. “We got a positive response from the minister. They would tabulate our demands to put that before the GST Council," he added.

Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) Council member Satwinder Singh said concerns related to reverse charge mechanism and refund were raised in the meeting.

Representatives from KPMG, CII, Ficci, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Laghu Udyog Bharati, GST service providers, ICSI, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Amazon were present.