Sops worth Rs 8000 cr in mid-term review of India's FTP

Mid-term review of Foreign Trade Policy announced; key highlights

Foreign Trade Policy Review Offers Incentives to Boost Sagging Exports

The commerce ministry plans to follow a "Whole of government" approach involving all ministries and state governments to boost exports.

However the exporters demanded more measures to improve market access and cost competitiveness. Further, to provide impetus to services trade, the policy has raised the Service Exports from India Scheme by 2 per cent, envisaging an additional outgo of Rs 1,140 crore.

Alok Chaturvedi, Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), while speaking the event, said that the review is an ongoing process.

The government on Tuesday announced a series of steps to revive exports amid disruptions to supply chains arising from the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).

Exporters of labour-intensive items will now be eligible for 2 per cent higher incentives across-the-board under the popular Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS), as per the review released by Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday.

The FTP, Prabhu said, also aims at facilitating increase in farmers' income through a focused policy for agricultural export.

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This will benefit sectors like, leather, agriculture, carpets, handicrafts and marine products. "It will greatly help in expediting export of a number of important products such as engineering, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, textiles and high-tech products", said FICCI secretary general Sanjaya Baru in a statement.

The five-year FTP was announced on April 1, 2015, and set an ambitious target of India's goods and services exports at $900 billion by 2020. The trust based system for the grant of Advance Authorization for no norms cases for exporters registered as Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) marks a new beginning of reliance on trade and will encourage exporters to apply for AEO Scheme which facilitate customs clearance both in India as well as overseas, he said.

The mid-term review was supposed to take place around the time GST was implemented (July 1). It also has a goal of increasing India's share of world exports to 3.5 per cent, from 2 per cent.

In April 201, the government had announced several incentives in the five-year FTP for exporters and units in the special economic zones (EPZs) to almost double India's exports of goods and services to $900 billion by 2020.

"While exporters will be happy with the direction, they would look forward to some quick and long term solution to working capital blockage with respect to input GST", Pratik Jain, Leader- Indirect Tax, PwC India, said.

Under the MEIS scheme available to exporters, identified sectors are given duty exemption scrips, which are fixed at a certain percentage of the total value of their exports.

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