Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman today announced a slew of measures for exports.
The Finance Minister has announced that the scheme for Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Products will replace the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme. The new scheme will completely replace MEIS for all goods and services.
The existing dispensation will continue till Dec. 31, 2019. The full electronic refund module for ITC refunds in Goods and Services Tax is nearing completion and will be implemented by end of September 2019, the Finance Minister stated.
"Export Credit Guarantee Corp will expand the scope of ECIS and offer higher insurance cover to banks lending working capital for exports in a move which will cost Rs 1700 crores per annum to the government," Sitharaman stated.
Reducing time for exports
By digitalizing all export clearances (port/airport/customs, etc) and elimination offline or manual services, an action plan will be implemented to reduce Time to export/turn around time that could be benchmarked with that of international standards by December 2019.
Actual turn-around times will be published on a real-time basis for each port and airport to push performance.
Dubai-like shopping festivals in 4 places in 2020
The Finance Minister also announced a Dubai like shopping festivals in four places in March 2020 across 4 themes- Gems & Jewellery, Handicrafts/Yoga/Tourism, Leather and Textiles.
Handicrafts industry to harness benefits of e-commerce for exports
Mass enrolment of artisans across India on e-commerce portals will be enabled with the help of the Ministry of Textiles and organisations like TRIFED, CIE, etc.
Fully automated electronic refund route for Input Tax Credit (ITC) in GST
Fully electronic refund module (FORM GSAT RFD-01) for quick and automated refund of ITC nearing completion and will be implemented by the end of September 2019.
Special FTA Utilisation Mission
A Free Trade Agreements Utilisation Mission will be set up to work exclusively with FIEO and export houses to utilise concessional tariffs in each FTA. It will also enhance the awareness of preferential duty benefits among MSMEs and facilitate the compliance requirements.
Online "Origin Management System"
It will help exporters obtain Certificates of Origin (CoO) and will be launched in the next few weeks by DGFT in collaboration with Exports Inspection Council.
Affordable testing and certification infrastructure
The testing and certification infrastructure will be adequately expanded and developed in PPP mode to enable exporters to get all their internationally accepted tests and certifications done within India. The ministry said that it would reduce the costs of adoption of standards and certification for Indian exporters to meet national standards of FTA partners.
Adoption of mandatory standards
A working group of standards will be set up in the Department of Commerce to work with the industry to lay down a roadmap for adoption of standards, timeline and enforcement. It will help exporters from India overcome the quality and performance barriers and enhance competitiveness.
Expanding scope of Export Credit Insurance Scheme (ECIS) by ECGC
Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) will expand the scope of ECIS. The government will offer higher insurance cover to banks lending working capital for exports. Premium incidence of MSMEs will be moderated suitably. This will enable a reduction in the overall cost of export credit including interest rates, especially MSMEs.
Revised Priority Sector Lending (PSL) norms for Export Credit
Priority Sector Lending norms are being examined and enabling guidelines are under consideration by the RBI. It will release an additional Rs 36,000-68,000 crores as export credit under priority sector.
Data released by the commerce ministry on Friday showed India's merchandise exports fell by 6.05 percent in August while merchandise imports declined by 13.45 percent. In comparison, China's exports in August fell 1 percent and imports shrank 5.6 percent, amid its trade war with the US.
As regards inflation, she pointed out that inflation has been kept under control. "Between 2.5-4 percent is considered safe. Inflation has always been held well under 4 percent. One of the very strong indicators is that inflation is being held," she said.
Earlier, it maybe recalled that Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman had announced a bank merger of PSU banks in August and prior to that in the same month the government had also withdrawn a surcharge on capital gains tax and some reforms for the MSME sector.