Pending exporters' GST refund reflects govt's indifference: Mohandas Pai

Former Infosys CFO and angel investor T V Mohandas Pai on Thursday said GST refunds worth Rs 200 billion to exporters pending with the government reflects its indifference and bad service and political leaders have to step in to remedy the situation.

"Holding up refunds worth Rs 200 billion to exporters for flimsy reasons shows the lack of a positive mindset of thetax department," Pai told PTI here.

"Political leaders have to step in urgently and remedy this situation. They have to save citizens from such indifference and bad service," he added.

For the last four years exports have suffered for various reasons and this is very detrimental to India's growth and the country should not suffer due to apathy of tax authorities, Pai said.

"Banks are also not lending and most MSMEs are suffering due to lack of finance," he said.

Lack of money with government also cannot be an excuse under any circumstance, he added.

It is also a very bad development when exporters' liquidity is being badly hurt by lack of refunds, Pai said.

He also rued that citizens suffer when it comes to refunds, but coercive action is taken to collect taxes.

Tax collection has become one-sided in India and in some areas citizens suffer from tax extortion also, he added.

India should not suffer due to apathy of tax authorities, he said.

However, the Union Finance Ministry yesterday had said GST refunds worth Rs 140 billion, instead of Rs 200 billion, to exporters are pending with the government and "solutions" are being put in place to fast-track clearances.

The ministry had refuted Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO)'s claims that refund clearance has sloweddown and said Rs 8,000 crore was sanctioned during May.

The government has so far sanctioned more than Rs 30,000crore as GST refund, which includes Rs 16,000 crore of IGST and Rs 14,000 crore of ITC (input tax credit), the ministry had said.

The figures of ITC include sanction by both the central and state governments, it had added.

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