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Exporters For Extending Interest Subsidy Scheme, Inclusion Of Steel, Pharma Under RoDTEP

These demands were made during a meeting of different export promotion councils with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and senior officials in Mumbai.

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Exporters on Thursday suggested to the government various measures such as extension of interest subsidy beyond September 30, inclusion of steel and pharma sector in the tax rebate scheme RoDTEP, and freight support with a view to boosting the country's outbound shipments.

These demands were made during a meeting of different export promotion councils with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and senior officials in Mumbai.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President A Sakthivel said that exclusion of important sectors such as articles of iron and steel, chemicals and pharmaceuticals from Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) incentive scheme has given a 'jolt' to exporters.

'Interest equalisation scheme may be extended beyond 30th September, to provide a longer time frame preferably for three years for the exporting community; RoDTEP benefits for special economic zones, export oriented units may also be fixed quickly so that these units can start getting the benefits,' he said.

Sakthivel, who is also Chairman Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), said that they are requesting the government to fast track the trade deals with countries like Australia and the UK.

'FTAs will remove tariff disadvantages faced by Indian apparels in many markets. Early Harvest Agreements with the UK and Australia can help triple Indian apparel exports to these markets in the next three years, Sakthivel said.

Council for Leather Exports (CLE) Chairman Sanjay Leekha recommended reinstatement of import duty exemption on wet blue, crust and finished leathers; extension of production linked incentive scheme for the sector; 24 x 7 Customs clearances; and financial support for logistics to increase competitiveness.

The import duty exemption on wet blue, crust and finished leathers was removed in Union Budget 2021-22.

'The leathers which are imported are of different species, colours and textures and not available in India are imported only as per requirement of brands and are imported from 105 countries by 1,171 companies, mostly MSME units. Hence, we would request reinstatement of import duty exemption,' Leekha said.

He also said that the industry is facing huge liquidity problems and extension of interest equalisation on rupee export credit for the next five years would help the sector.

Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman Colin Shah asked for ECGC (Export Credit Guarantee Corporation) coverage for the sector; introduction of diamond imprest license in new foreign trade policy; introduction of repair policy; withdrawal of 2 per cent internet equalisation tax; allowing property transfer at SEZs; announcement of shopping festival with GJEPC and ITPO as organiser; and Rs 50 crore each for mega CFC (common facility centre) in Surat and Mumbai.

Indian Oilseeds and Produce Export Promotion Council (IOPEPC) Chairman Khushwant Jain asked for increasing support under the Transport Marketing Assistance (TMA) scheme as freight rates have increased significantly.

Under the TMA plan, the government reimburses a certain portion of freight charges and provides assistance for marketing of agricultural produce.

Plastics Export Promotion Council of India (Plexconcil) Chairman Arvind Goenka said that FIBC Bags and woven sacks have been left out from the RoDTEP and the government should consider their inclusion in the scheme.

'BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) has been imposed on raw materials and not on finished goods. BIS on polymers will only help improve profitability of Indian polymer producers and it does not improve the quality of finished goods in any way.

'It only leads to import barriers and will lead to increase in polymer prices. Such import barriers should be implemented after India achieves Atmanirbharta in that polymer,' he suggested.

The meeting assumes significance as the commerce ministry has fixed an export target of USD 400 billion for the current fiscal.

All the export promotion councils (EPCs) have been given specific targets to take the exports to USD 400 billion.

Engineering goods and projects EPCs together have got a target of USD 107.25 billion; Gems and Jewellery EPC USD 43.75 billion; and pharma USD 29.17 billion.

Similarly, target for Chemexcil; APEDA; apparel, silk and wool; and electronic goods sectors are USD 25.25 billion, USD 22.89 billion, USD 20 billion and USD 161.7 billion, respectively.

The EPCs of carpet, leather, rubber board, sports goods, and jute have targets of USD 1.8 billion, USD 5.88 billion, USD 4.3 billion, USD 500 million and USD 510 million, respectively.


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