The Commerce Ministry has eased the process of filing of application for claiming benefits under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) with a view to improve ease of doing business in the country. Commerce Ministry has done away with separate applications required for shipments from different electronic data interchange (EDI) ports. "The procedure for filing of application under MEIS for EDI shipping bills is simplified. Shipments from different EDI ports will not require separate applications," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade has said in a public notice. Rewards under MEIS are payable as percentage of realised free-on-board value and the MEIS duty credit scrip can be transferred or used for payment of a number of duties, including the basic customs duty. In terms of trading across borders, India ranked at 133rd out of 189 economies, according to the World Banks report on ease of doing business. The ministry has been engaged with with different ministries including shipping to fast-track clearance processes and improve ease of doing business to boost shipments. Declining for 17th straight month in April, exports dipped by 6.74 per cent to USD 20.5 billion due to sharp fall in shipments of petroleum and engineering products amid tepid global demand. In a separate trade notice, the DGFT said that applicants who have been allowed to import pepper under the India-Sri Lanka free trade agreement for 2016-17 may contact concerned regional authorities for obtaining license. The validity of the quota is till March 31 next year. "Failure to fully utilise the quota would debar the applicant from applying under India-Sri Lanka FTA for the next three financial year," it said.