The commerce department has asked the Finance Ministry to impose border adjustment tax (BAT) on imported goods to offset the impact of levies such as electricity duty, clean energy, levies on fuel and royalty that are not part of goods and services tax (GST).
Reportedly, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan has proposed to the revenue department, “Taxes which are not part of GST, while resulting in an increase in the cost of production of domestic goods, also place them on an unequal footing vis-a-vis imports, rendering our exports uncompetitive,”.
To brief Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on the proposal, the commerce secretary has sought an urgent status report.
Introduction of GST in July 2017, resulted in merger of a number of levies at the state and the central level and some of the taxes, like which were used to imposed in mandis in Punjab and Haryana at the time of procurement, were done away with. Following which, the commerce department is of the view that many were not included in GST, resulting in a situation where input credit on these taxes is not available.
To deal with such situations, two options were considered by the department, one of which is to levy BAT. This will require amendments to the Customs Act, with an elaborate exercise needed to put in place rules for identification and quantification of such levies.
On the other hand, the second option is to allow for refund of non-creditable taxes, which many believe will be possible under Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP).