EPCs & FIEO seek amendments to IT Act for exporters

Feb 27, 2024

In a collective effort representing over 150,000 exporters, the Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) and the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) have voiced concerns regarding the new Section 43b (h) of the Income Tax Act. While acknowledging the government’s aim to safeguard Micro and Small entities, the provision poses immediate challenges for exporters, necessitating amendments to ensure competitiveness and liquidity, particularly during the initial implementation phase.

Exporters, who endure payment delays averaging 120 days due to international trade dynamics, find themselves adversely impacted by the new provision. Unlike domestic transactions with a maximum lead time of 14 days, exports entail longer processing periods, exacerbating liquidity constraints. Furthermore, geopolitical uncertainties and economic fluctuations compel exporters to maintain larger inventories, amplifying cash flow challenges.

The export community appeals for distinct consideration, highlighting the divergent nature of export operations compared to domestic trade. To maintain a level playing field globally, exporters propose exemptions from Section 43b (h) for transactions involving micro and small units supplying goods for export purposes. A supplier declaration attesting to the export-bound nature of the goods is suggested as a requisite for exemption.

Should full exemption prove unfeasible, exporters propose extending the compliance period from 45 days to 120 days, and excluding supplies to MSME exporters from the provision’s scope. These exemptions are advocated for a limited duration to facilitate the adjustment of exporters to the new regulation, which is viewed as instrumental in fostering timely payments and nurturing the growth of MSMEs, vital components of the Indian economy.

The Export Promotion Councils and FIEO commend the government’s efforts under visionary leadership to bolster the nation’s export ecosystem. Pledging concerted endeavors, they express confidence in achieving the ambitious target of US$ 2 trillion in exports by 2030, thereby contributing significantly to Bharat’s economic advancement.

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