India: Duty drawback and trade-based money laundering

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WHAT: The duty drawback scheme has been designed to refund to exporters duties levied by Customs & Central Excise or tariffs paid by them on both imported and locally produced materials or inputs that go into the production of goods for export.

WHY: Many countries have this scheme to ensure competitiveness of exports. Lack of competitiveness could be due to the quality of infrastructure, cost of funds, value of currency, high Customs duties, or excise duties/tariffs on inputs or intermediates that go into production of goods for exports, etc.

PROBLEMS: Misuse of the scheme is reflected in the latest case of alleged inflated export bills. There have been concerns over delays in refunds, and complaints over interpretation and the time involved.

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