The worst affected people from the pandemic have been the businessmen. The imposed lockdown has brought several financial and fiscal challenges. However, the Ministry of Finance has constantly endeavoured to support taxpayers by introducing various initiatives that facilitate compliance. Several measures have been introduced by CBIC including, 24x7 Customs functioning, introducing single window helpdesk, nodal officers at all locations. Recently, CBIC, through a series of notifications, granted exemption from customs duty and IGST on specified COVID-19 material donated from abroad. It also promoted speedy customs clearance for all COVID-19 related imports made by the Red Cross Society. CBIC had also introduced a distinct drive to prioritise disposal of pending customs refund, IGST refund and customs duty drawback claims through Instructions No.03/2020-Customs and No.2/1/2020-GST, both dated 09.04.2020. CBIC conducted this drive within the time frame of 08.04.2020 to 30.04.2020.
To continue the special drive introduced last year, CBIC has introduced another measure through Instruction No. 10/2021-Customs on 13th May 2021 . It focuses on the speedy disposal of pending GST refunds, including duty drawbacks, with its special focus on MSMEs. A “Special Refund and Drawback Disposal Drive” has begun on 15th May 2021 which will continue till 31st May 2021. The Principal Chief Commissioners/ Chief Commissioners are authorised to monitor the drive daily. The ministry will coordinate with export trade and industry associations to obtain requisite documents.
We can conclude that with the introduction of this drive, the CBIC wants to focus on small taxpayers and MSMEs. Taxpayers are encouraged to take an effective part in this drive to enjoy maximum benefits.