Exporters seek longer extension of tax refund scheme

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The central government's decision to extend the validity of Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) scheme, a tax refund system for exporters, for only three months has not gone down well with the Indian export community. 

While a section of exporters feels that the scheme should have been extended till the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), others say its short-term extension would create uncertainty. 

The government has recently extended the validity of the DEPB scheme till Sep 30 after exporters called for a continuation of the popular sop. 

Earlier, the government had indicated that the scheme would be withdrawn at the end of this month. 

The DEPB is a reimbursement of basic and special customs duty paid by an exporter on an imported input used in the export product. The benefit is given by way of a grant of duty credit against the export product at specified rates. 

The scheme has been continuing for the last 14 years, covering nearly 52 per cent of exports. 

The government has apparently set up a committee that would seek to replace DEPB with the duty drawback scheme

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