Mid-Term Review of Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020

The Minister of Commerce and Industry released the Mid-term Review of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20.

Main Highlights:

While restoring the benefits under the export promotion schemes of duty free imports under Advanced Authorisation, Export Promotion Capital Goods and 100 percent Export Oriented Units and thus resolving the problem of blocked working capital for exporters following the roll out of GST, the FTP review has focused on increasing the incentives for labour intensive MSME sectors.

Export incentives under Merchandise Exports from India (MEIS) have been increased by 2 percent across the board for labour intensive MSME sectors leading to additional annual incentive of Rs. 4,567 crore.

This is in addition to the already announced increase in MEIS incentives from 2 percent to 4 percent for Ready-made Garments and Made Ups in the labour intensive Textiles Sector with an additional annual incentive of Rs. 2,743 crore Further, incentives under Services Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) have also been increases by 2% percent leading to additional annual incentive of Rs. 1,140 crore.

Thus, incentives under the two schemes have been increased by 33.8 percent (Rs. 8,450 cr) from the existing incentives of Rs. 25,000 crore leading to boost in exports from the labour intensive sectors and increased employment opportunities. Some of the major sectors benefited are as under:
· Rs. 2,743 crore for Ready-made Garments and Made Ups in Textiles Sector
· Rs 749 crore for Leather and Footwear Articles,
· Rs 921 crore for handmade carpets of silk, handloom and coir and Jute products
· Rs 1,354 crore for Agriculture and related products,
· Rs 1,140 crore for Services including Hotel & Restaurant, Hospital, Educational services etc.
· Rs 759 crore for Marine products
· Rs 369 crore for Telecom and Electronics Components
· Rs 193 crore for Medical and Surgical Equipment.

Further, the validity period of Duty Credit Scrips has been increased from 18 to 24 months and GST rates on transfer/sale of scrips has been reduced to zero.

Issue of Gold availability for exporters has been resolved by allowing Specified Nominated Agencies to import Gold without payment of IGST.

Support to Export Credit Guarantee Corporation is also being enhanced to increase insurance cover to exporters particularly MSME’s exploring new or difficult markets.

A new scheme of Self-Assessment based duty free procurement of inputs required for exports has been introduced. There will be no need of Standard Input Output Norms in such cases and this will eliminate delays. It is based on trust. Exporters will self-certify the requirement of duty free raw materials/ inputs. The scheme would initially be available to the Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) and will get expanded as more exporters join the AEO program. The scheme will improve ease of doing business.

Contact@DGFT service has been launched on the DGFT website (www.dgft.gov.in) as a single window contact point for exporters and importers for resolving all foreign trade related issues and also to give suggestions. Exporters/Importers can track status of their queries through the assigned reference number. Feedback mechanism has also been provided. High level monitoring of disposal is being ensured

A State-of-the-Art Trade Analytics division has been set up in DGFT for data based policy actions. The initiative envisages processing trade information from DGCIS and other national and international databases related to India’s key export markets and identify specific policy interventions.

A new Logistics Division has been created in the Department of Commerce to develop and co-ordinate integrated development of the logistics sector, by way of policy changes, improvement in existing procedures, identification of bottlenecks and gaps, and introduction of technology based interventions in this sector. These steps would improve India’s ranking in the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) and promote exports and enhanced growth.

Focus will be given to Ease of Trading across borders. A professional team to handhold, assist and support exporters in their export related problems, accessing export market and meeting regulatory requirements. The team will also examine the procedures and processes in clearances related to trading across borders for their simplification and rationalization and track progress. Dwell time at ICDs, ports and airports is being closely monitored in coordination with Customs, and infrastructure Ministries.

The Foreign Trade Policy will continue to be reviewed and evaluated regularly for addressing concerns of the exporters, simplification of procedures and for promotion of exports.