New Delhi, March 16 - The government on March 16 said it had launched a special drive to process the pending GST refunds on account of exports and that it was observing "refund sanction fortnight" from March 15 to 29.
The government wants to assure the exporting community that it is keen to see that all their eligible refund claims are considered and sanctioned at the earliest, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said in a statement.
"CBEC has taken an initiative to observe a special drive 'refund sanction fortnight' from March 15 to 29 on an all India scale for which additional staff and infrastructure has been mobilised. Special refund cells manned by experienced staff are being put in place throughout the country," it said.
"Exporting community is requested to take benefit of this fortnight and wholeheartedly come forward to get their errors rectified to enable sanction of refunds," it added.
The statement said the government had taken various steps to speed up the refund process, which were beginning to show results. "So far, over Rs 10,000 crore has already been sanctioned by CBEC and states."
The government said that unverified estimates of pending GST refunds were cropping up regularly which were "highly speculative" and "mostly inaccurate".
"It is a fact that while a number of exporters have not been able to get the export refunds so far others have been granted refunds. In order to overcome the causes of the delay in sanctioning of refunds, the government has taken various steps which include amendments in the rules, changes in the business procedures of common portal and customs automated system to address the systemic issues," the statement said.
It said that a standard operating procedure applicable to both Central and state GST had been put in place with regard to processing of refunds.
The GST Council, in its last meeting on March 10, had directed all states tax authorities to proactively clear refund claims.