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26. November 2005

INDIA: Rubber traders threaten to halt exports — VAT claims yet to be refunded

Source: Daily "The Hindu Business Line", New Delhi; 26 Nov 2005

Kochi , 25 Nov 2005 Rubber exporters under the aegis of the Cochin Rubber Merchants Association on 25 Nov. said they would stop exports unless the State Government refunded their value added tax (VAT) claims. According to Mr N. Radhakrishnan, President of the association, around Rs 100 million is blocked due to the delay in refunding VAT to natural rubber exporters. "Exporters cannot afford to ship rubber any more unless the Government issues refund orders of all the claims of the exporters immediately," he said in a statement here today. Since Kerala introduced VAT from April 1 this year, nearly 40,000 tonnes of rubber were exported. However, no refund of the claims were made till date, he said. "We are furnishing all required documents, but nobody has got the refund yet," Mr Radhakrishnan said. The exporters were now reluctant to quote against export enquiries due to the Government's inaction, he said. As per the rules of VAT, exporters are required to pay VAT at four per cent while buying the rubber, which is to be refunded later when exports take place. The Government had promised to constitute an export cell in Kochi to facilitate the refunds, but it has not materialised. "Unless the Government comes forward to refund the tax immediately as per VAT rules, rubber exporters will be forced to withdraw from the export market. Such a decision will have a cascading effect on prices in future," he said. (Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi)

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