GSTN utility for exporters to claim refunds gets activated

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Nov 15, 2017

New Delhi: Merchant exporters can start claiming tax refunds using the new utility that will be activated on the GST Network portal tonight, GSTN CEO Prakash Kumar said.

With the new utility RFD-1A, a merchant exporter can claim refund of GST paid at the time of buying goods which he has exported in the relevant month.“GST RFD-1A for refund of input tax credit on export of goods and services and additional amount in cash ledger would go live on GSTN portal tonight,” Kumar told PTI. The refund claims can be filled for July-September and that would be matched with the corresponding GSTR-3B filed by the exporter.

Earlier, GSTN had launched the utility for processing refund claims by manufacturing exporters who had paid Integrated GST (IGST) while exporting goods.Kumar further said a new functionality has been introduced on the portal that enables businesses to engage and disengage a GST Practitioner (GSTP).

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Seafood exports may cross $6 billion this year

index.jpgSource: The Economic Times, Nov 14, 2017

KOCHI: Indian seafood export is all set to cross $ 6 billion in the current year, backed by rising demand for shrimp in the wake of dwindling supplies from other Asian countries.

The US leads the way for buyers during the Christmas and New Year season. “It is the peak season and there is increased demand. The prices are good too,’’ said Shivam Gupta, director of West Coast Fine Foods India. India is currently the top supplier of shrimps in the world, overtaking Ecuador, according to Globefish, the information and analysis wing on fisheries and aquaculture of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The report said Indian farmed shrimp production had reached 5 lakh tonnes last year, with vannamei shrimp, the most preferred variety, touching 4.06 lakh tonnes.

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Exports contract 1.1% on GST concerns, trade deficit widens to near 3-year high in October

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 15, 2017

NEW DELHI: Exports declined in October after a six-month high expansion in September as the uncertainty related to goods and services tax (GST) took its toll on shipments, causing the trade deficit to balloon to a near three-year high as imports expanded.

Exports contracted 1.1% in October from a year ago while imports rose 7.6%, data released by the government showed, yielding a trade deficit of $14 billion in October, highest since November 2014.

Trade deficit was $11.1 billion in October last year and $9 billion in September this year. In absolute terms, India exported $23.1 billion goods in October compared with $23.4 billion a year ago.

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India’s basmati rice exports may drop to 3-year low on new EU rule

Source: Financial Express, Nov 10, 2017

India’s basmati rice exports may drop to a three-year low this year as the European Union tightens a fungicide rule and local prices strengthen. Exports may decline as much as 5 percent to 3.79 million metric tons in the year than began on April 1 from a year earlier, said Vijay Setia, president of All India Rice Exporters Association. That would be the lowest since 2014-15, according to the association’s data. “We will try to export polished rice to the European Union to avoid the new fungicide norms,” Setia said in a phone interview. Exporters are possibly not yet fully prepared to meet the new stringent norms, he said. According to the European Union’s rule, the residue level of Tricyclazole fungicide in basmati rice should not exceed 0.01 parts per million from Jan. 1, 2018, compared with 1 part per million currently, Setia said. About 80 percent of India’s basmati rice shipments include unpolished grains. The rest is sold after polishing, which significantly lowers fungicide residues.

Rice companies are expected to focus on the domestic market after a surge in local prices following lower stockpiles and concerns that a drop in the crop area would lead to lower output, Setia said. Basmati paddy output may fall 8 percent from a year earlier to 5.65 million tons in 2017-18, a decline for a third straight year and the lowest since at least 2009, according to the association. Farmers across the country have reduced planting 7.7 percent to 1.55 million hectares (3.8 million acres) from a year earlier to grow other agricultural crops, according to the association.

Local prices of some aromatic varieties used in dishes such as biryani and pilaf have surged 50 percent to around 30 rupees (46 cents) per kilogram from a year earlier. The price rally may boost earnings of millers such as KRBL Ltd. and LT Foods Ltd., which have already seen their share prices doubling this year. Basmati rice exports totaled 2.12 million tons in the six month through Sept. 30, compared with 2.06 million tons a year earlier. Total rice exports climbed to 6.07 million tons from 5.43 million tons, according to the association’s data.

India, Canada seek to put free trade pact in fast lane

index.jpgSource: The Economic Times, Nov 12, 2017

India and Canada will make efforts for expeditious conclusion of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement on goods and services at the annual ministerial dialogue starting here tomorrow, said an official statement.

A high-level delegation led by the Canadian International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is visiting India to attend the 4th Annual Ministerial Dialogue (AMD). The Indian delegation will be led by Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu.

In the current round, India and Canada will be focusing on some of the key commercial drivers to enhance bilateral partnership, the release said.

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Exports to China surge 39 per cent but trade deficit widens too

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 09, 2017

NEW DELHI: India and China may have been engaged in a verbal duel over border disputes for the past few months, but the country’s exports to the neighbouring nation have surged 39 percent during the first half of the current fiscal, amid indications that Beijing is more accommodating in addressing New Delhi’s long pending trade concerns.

Latest data available with the commerce department showed that exports have grown faster than the pace of import expansion with India’s largest trading partner, although the trade deficit has widened given the massive shipments of electronics and pharmaceuticals from across the border.

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Exporters seek clarity on incentives under GST

download (1)Source: The Economic Times, Sept 13, 2017

MUMBAI: Exporters say they’re facing difficulties owing to ambiguity about benefits continuing under goods and services tax (GST) from the previous tax regime and queries over accessing input credit, further clouding their prospects amid a dull global market and an appreciating rupee. Some of them have sought clarity on the matter from the government ahead of the peak export season, said people in the know.

The development has led to exporters being unsure about pricing products set for the European Union (EU) and the US and warnings that overseas sales could suffer a setback in the upcoming quarter. The Foreign Trade Policy, FTP 2015-2020, has several incentives based on the earlier levies such as excise duty and service tax. It had been expected that these incentives would be recalibrated under GST but that hasn’t happened, exporters said.

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