An awareness seminar on foreign trade policy here on Thursday urged businesses to be extremely careful while handling GST paperwork as faulty data was a major reason for non-refund of taxes. Speakers pointed out that ignorance and reluctance to check with competent authorities for technical support and hand-holding added to GST-related issues in export and import sectors. The seminar was organised by jointly by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations and Customs Commissionerate and the Joint Director General of Foreign Trade. Sumit Kumar, Commissioner of Customs, Kochi, who opened the sessions, said the Customs Department had a lot of interactive platforms readily available for people to address their doubts and concerns.
“Even spot assistance through social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp too is available for needy people,” he said. “We wish to get feedback from people as we welcome all types of questions. We are encouraging people to approach us directly for guidance,” said Mr. Kumar. He also assured hand-holding support by the department to entrepreneurs in the sector. Delivering the keynote address, K.M. Harilal, Deputy Director General of Foreign Trade, Kochi, said explained to the participants various provisions under the Foreign Trade Policy for promotion of exports.
He also listed out various supportive schemes for entrepreneurs in the sector and the yet-to-be-explored possibilities. Resource persons from Customs and State GST Departments made separate presentations on the possibilities of transparent exports with the opening of the new Kannur International Airport and the much awaited strengthening of minor ports in the northern Kerala regions. They said that the entry of more investors from neighbouring States such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu too would double the healthy competitions in the sector and it would be an added advantage to think of and achieve bigger business goals.