The reimbursement for 2013 will be released in the current financial year

GoI: The government of India (GoI) yesterday declared a total excise duty refund of Nu 1.943B (billion) to Bhutan for 2014.

This is an increase of Nu 187M (million) from the previous year.  Bhutan received Nu 1.756B as excise duty refund for 2013.

Excise duty is an inland tax imposed only on a commodity consumed within a country.  Hence, if the commodity is exported, the excise duty is waived off.

Finance minister Namgay Dorji said the refund for 2013 would be released within the current fiscal year.  During the meeting in Thimphu, the Bhutanese delegation requested for the release of the refund for 2013.

He said the excise refund for 2014 would be made in the next financial year.

The increase in refund is attributed to the improved recording system of the department of revenue and customs and also due to maintenance of documents in a manner desired by the GoI.

“It’s also due to increase in imports from India,” the finance minister said.  Lyonpo said that the increase in imports from India can be attributed to the lift in ban of import of cars. “Import of cars makes a big difference because of the high value of each car,” he said.

Refund of excise duty is made only for excisable commodities imported from India.  Although most commodities are subject to excise duty in India, there are also specific exemptions issued by way of notifications by the GoI on goods of special interests, which include petroleum products, metallic waste products, food items, spares and accessories, medicines and medical equipment.

Furthermore, since imports made by hydropower projects in Bhutan are exempted from excise duty at source, no excise duty refund claims are made for imports made by these projects.

A delegation led by the director general of directorate general of inspection, customs and central excise, India, PK Mohanty, visited Bhutan for verification and quantification of the exercise duty refund claim of Bhutan for 2014 from May 13 to 22.

Apart from the above issue, other issues of mutual interest were also discussed during the meeting.  The GoI delegation called on the finance minister in May 20.

The meeting between the two delegations was held yesterday to discuss and finalise the excise duty refund.  The Bhutanese delegation was led by Yonten Namgyel, director of revenue and customs.

By MB Subba