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Govt asks finance panel to look into refund of exporters State levies
February, 18th 2008
The Government has asked the Finance Commission to suggest ways on how it can refund State levies to the traders and adjust the same against the States accounts.

I have got it included in the terms of reference of the 12th Finance Commission to work at a mechanism where the State levies are refunded by the Centre to the exporters and then appropriated to States, the Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Kamal Nath, at the annual general meeting of FICCI here on Saturday.

Exporters have been seeking refund of various levies like octroi, mundi tax and electricity duty on the lines of reimbursement of central taxes because of the erosion of margins by a sharp rise in rupee against the dollar.

Mr Nath also said that he favoured a cut in import duties on several items. There should be reduction in import duties on some items because we have to ensure that the inverted duty structure in a large number of areas is corrected.

The Minister also said that there was all the more need to correct this fallacious duty structure in the wake of India entering into a host of trade agreements under which imports on a many items would eventually become duty-free or would attract minimal levies.

He further said that India is in the process of concluding a trade agreement with Asean and is moving ahead with EU on another trade and investment agreement. India has to occupy its place in the new global economic architecture and the trade agreements would help the domestic industry get access to global technology and markets. And if we let other countries take that space, we will not get it.

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