MSMEs assured support, DGFT releases Mid-Term review of Foreign Trade Policy

The government has also been facing criticism from exporters over tardy refunds and a reduction+ in drawback rates, meant to offset the impact of taxes, and by doubling incentives to 4 per cent under MEIS the Centre is hoping to address the concerns and shield Indian businesses from the adverse impact of competition.

Ruchi Soya Industries managing director and CEO Dinesh Shahra said, "The increase of Rs 1,354 crore in the incentives for agriculture and related products will given an additional boost to agri industries, which will in turn benefit all stakeholders including the farmers".

The MEIS is the most popular incentive for exporters, under which identified sectors are given duty exemption scrips that are fixed at a certain percentage of the total value of their exports.

The review of the FTP (2015-2020) was due earlier this year but got delayed due to the implementation of the GST in July and the problems faced by exporters under the new dispensation taking centerstage.

The government also announced other steps to make processes relating to trade simpler including a self certification scheme for duty free imports, a single point electronic contact to traders with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade for trade and consignment related queries, and creating a logistics division in the department of commerce.

"Leave aside the transition problems". Also, he assured that in long-term exporters will be benefited from this tax regime.

Earlier, in a presentation, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CEBC) informed that the ministry has processed refund claims of nearly Rs 451 crores out of a pending amount of Rs 551 crores. "The extension of validity of scrips from 18 months to 24 months along with the provision of zero GST on sale of scrips are surely going to help the industry in a big way", commented AEPC chairman Ashok Rajani.

Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the procedure for processing refunds to exporters has started and that the government has about 10,000 applications to process and the procedure will be expedited.

It increased incentives would translate into additional benefits of Rs.2,816 crore for the current financial year.

The panel also suggested allowing those availing of the composition scheme to engage in inter-state sales, the ET report added.

India's exports turned negative with a 1.1% drop in October.

Mr. Baru said the 2% increase in the Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) incentive for services like business, legal, accounting, architectural, engineering, educational, hospital, hotels and restaurants would provide impetus for boosting India's service exports in non-IT areas. In October, imports increased 7.6 percent to $37.11 billion.

Vanessa Coleman

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