India Considers Expanding Tax Refund Scheme

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Nov. 23 – The Indian government is deliberating whether to expand the current coverage of its tax refund scheme to include export industries that have been severely affected by the global slowdown.

This could help alleviate hard hit export manufacturers like gold jewelery, glass art ware and handicrafts and to help them maintain competitiveness.

A government official told The Economic Times that the government will also not lower the existing tax credit rates until the sectors show improvement. As part of its stimulus plans, the government has already lowered excise duties for products and decreased service tax by 2 percent.

India’s exports have been on the decline in the last thirteen months and only expects the slowdown to improve next year. The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India said that the country must aim for a US$300 billion export target by 2014 because of the recovering global economy.

The export of gold jewelery plunged by 40 percent last month to US$513 million year on year with handicrafts exports also down.