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Small exporters looking for continuation of amnesty scheme till September

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NEW DELHI : Several small exporters have requested the government to continue the amnesty scheme for one-time settlement of default in export obligation till September, an industry body said on Monday.

Ludhiana-based Hand Tools Association President S C Ralhan said the number of small exporters have not been able to avail of benefits of the scheme due to fulfilling their obligations to make make payments to MSMEs within 45 days.

According to Section 43B(h) of the Income Tax Act, introduced through the Finance Act 2023, if a larger company does not pay an MSME on time — within 45 days in case of written agreements — it cannot deduct that expense from its taxable income, leading to potentially higher taxes.

“Due to this, we diverted our funds to make payments and several of us were not able to apply for the amnesty scheme. We urge the government to continue the scheme till September,” Ralhan said.

The last date for payment of customs duty plus interest ended on March 31, 2024.

In the new foreign trade policy (FTP), the scheme was announced for exporters for one-time settlement of default in export obligation by the holders of advance and EPCG (export promotion for capital goods) authorisations.

Under the scheme, all pending cases of the default in meeting export obligation (EO) of certain authorisations can be regularised by the authorisation holder on payment of all customs duties that were exempted in proportion to unfulfilled EO and interest at 100 per cent of such duties exempted.

Ralhan added that they will soon send a communication regarding this to the commerce ministry.

Another exporter said the extension of the scheme till September will help them apply and avail the benefit.

Meanwhile, a government official said the commerce ministry is compiling the data with regard to availing of benefits of the scheme.

“We are compiling the figures to see the total value. It will take a few more days,” the official said.

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