Govt may launch e-wallet for exporters to ease working capital woes

The government is planning to launch an e-wallet for exporters under the Goods & Services Tax (GST) regime and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and National Securities Depository (NSDL) are looking to operate it.

The move, in sync with the government’s push for a cashless economy, will ease working capital flow for exporters. The government, however, is yet to decide on which agency will develop the system, reports Business Standard.

GST’s network system, GSTN, could be considered for this, the report said.

According to the report, the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) is working on a credit amount that the exporters will initially need. Since e-wallet is a notional credit, it will not impact the exchequer.

“The government will not have to put in anything. It will be all notional, based on the exporters’ record with DGFT,” Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said.

The exporters have complained time and again about the constraints on working capital due to delay in GST refunds.

Adhia further said that traders can receive credit via e-wallet and use it to pay the GST, including CGST and IGST.

The amount in the e-wallet can be replenished when exporters get refund. This will stay with the exporter and will help in free flow of working capital for these exporters.

The government has already started handing refunds. From IGST, the total collection has been Rs 67,000 crore, wherein refunds are estimated to be around Rs 2,000 crore for July and August.

Till the e-wallet is rolled out, for convenience of exporters, the government has reduced the IGST on exports to 0.1 percent till March 31.

NPCI had launched the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) application for making payments in December last year. Since then, the app has seen strong growth. In July this year, the app crossed 16 million downloads and had 4 million active users.