BL reported that the Indian government has withdrawn duty drawback benefits on all iron & steel, cement and rice shipments. Henceforth, exporters of these commodities will not be entitled to any rebate or refund of customs, excise or service tax paid on inputs used for their production.
In a notification dated May 29th 2008, the revenue department has said that no amount or rate of drawback shall be determined in respect of any goods falling within Chapter 72 or heading 1006 or 2523 of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975. Chapter 72 covers all iron & steel products, while headings 1006 and 2523 relate to rice (including basmati) and cement, respectively.
The finance ministry specifies drawback rates for individual export items after factoring in broad parameters including standard input output norms pertaining to its manufacture, the share of imported vis a vis domestically sourced inputs and the prevailing rates of customs, excise and service tax on the inputs.
This move comes in the backdrop of a weakening rupee, which has made exports more remunerative. With the headline inflation rate crossing eight per cent, the Centre is keen to augment domestic availability of sensitive items and, therefore, discourage exports to the maximum.