The much-awaited Foreign Trade Policy midterm review on Tuesday was unveiled, which highlighted the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as a game changer, even as DGFT Alok V Chaturvedi said that the focus is going to be on ease of trading. Aiming to nearly double India’s exports of goods and services to $900 billion by 2020, the government had announced several incentives in the five-year Foreign Trade Policy for exporters and units in the Special Economic Zones in April 2015.
The DGFT said that the FTP will continue to have dynamic character and the import-export code was simplified to enable ease of trading. The FTP midterm review was postponed from July to December to assess the impact of the GST and the DGFT said that the government could take remedial action.
Besides, ease of trading, taking care of MSME, agri products, labour intensive sectors et al are going to be the focus of the FTP review. The government also announced incentives worth Rs 8,450 cr in this policy review. As far as working capital blockage is concerned, the government has enabled steps to release the capital an e-wallet will be rolled from April 1, 2018, the CBEC chief said. A team of experts will also be set up to assist exporters on the GST.
Unveiling the first trade policy of the NDA government, the then Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the FTP (2015-20) will introduce Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and Services Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) to boost outward shipments.
Besides, the government also proposed a higher level of incentives for export of agriculture products under FTP. The FTP also sought to establish an Export Promotion Mission to provide an institutional framework to work with State Governments to boost India’s exports. The government also aimed to promote and boost export of defence goods.