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06 December 2017, 08:43 | Opal Carroll
Mid-term review of Foreign Trade Policy announced; key highlights
The minister said the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) incentive rate will be raised by 2 per cent across the board for labour intensive/MSME sectors.
The revised FTP focuses on exploring new markets and products, as well as increasing the country's share in traditional markets, leveraging the benefits of GST, increasing ease of trading across borders and increasing farmers' income through a focused policy for agricultural exports.
Speaking at the conference, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said Rs 8,500 crore is amount of "extra monetary benefits that will go to the exporters" as a result of the policy.
"It is an on-going effort".
Exports entered the negative terrain after over a year, contracting 1.12 per cent in October, primarily due to the liquidity problem faced by exporters following the GST launch.
He also offered solace that issues related to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) would ease soon.
The FTP also provides for a new scheme of "Self- Assessment" based duty free procurement of inputs required for exports. "I ask exporters to please bear with us and be our partners in dealing with the problems". Emphasis will be on enhancing participation of Indian industry in global and regional value chains, the minister added.
The issue of working capital blockage of exporters due to upfront payment of GST on inputs has been addressed by extending to them the benefit of sourcing inputs or capital goods from overseas as well as domestic suppliers without upfront GST payment.
Chaudhary further said that the government is focused on maintaining the share in traditional export markets such as European Union, the United States as well as the focus will be on exploring new markets.
They further said the FTP review may build upon the GST related reforms, with the trade analytics division under the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) helping with policy inputs.
"The FTP will continue to be reviewed and evaluated regularly for addressing concerns of the exporters, simplification of procedures and for promotion of exports", an official statement said. The review was to be announced on July 1 this year, along with the implementation of GST.
The five-year FTP was announced on April 1, 2015, and set an ambitious target of India's goods and services exports touching Dollars 900 billion by 2020.
Impetus worth Rs 1,140 crore has been given to the services trade, as well as annual incentives worth Rs 2,743 crore for sub-sectors under the textiles sector.
The FTP will focus on exports from labour intensive and MSME sectors by way of increased incentives in order to increase employment opportunities.
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