GST Sops Extended, EoUs And STPIs Exempt From Paying IGST And Compensation Cess Till March 2019 GST is the new unified tax regime in India. (photo by Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

In a major relief to Export oriented Units (EoUs) and Software Technology Parks of India (STPIs), the Finance Ministry announced the extension of GST benefits, namely an exemption from paying IGST and Compensation Cess, till 31 March 2019. The exemptions were scheduled to lapse on 30 September but the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in a notification extended the period of benefit.

Under the erstwhile regime, there lay no customs duty or special additional duty on goods imported by EoUs and STPIs. However with the introduction of the GST regime, the government was unwilling to extend the exemptions and wished to levy IGST on imports with the option of refunding the same at a later stage.

Due to blockage of funds for exporters and issues in respect of refunds, the government reinstated the exemption with a view to introducing an e-wallet scheme to replace the exemptions. Since it appears that the e-wallet scheme would take time to go on stream, the government has extended the period of exemption for EoUs and STPIs.

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