Institutions that provide education to non-resident Indians (NRIs) can now avail services export incentives under Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) by the commerce ministry. Eligible institutions will be entitled to duty credit scrips on net foreign exchange earned under this scheme, the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT), under the commerce ministry, said in a circular on Monday.
“It is clarified that for the purpose of a claim of SEIS benefits…the educational services rendered by Indian institutes to NRIs (who constitute foreign consumers) are eligible for SEIS benefits under the foreign trade policy,” the DGFT said. Duty credit scrips, given under the SEIS, can be utilised to pay various taxes levied on goods and services.
Further, DGFT added that it has received references from trade members, seeking clarification on the eligibility criteria of firms that are into the business of providing educational services to NRI students for getting the benefits under the scheme. However, if these institutions are providing services to Indian students who are sponsored by NRIs, incentives will not be given in such a case, as these students cannot be considered as foreign consumers, it added.
It may be noted that the commerce ministry is taking several initiatives to promote services export, along with goods, as it has a share of about 55% in India’s total economy. In the financial year 2016-17, the export of India’s services grew $160 billion from $154 billion in the previous financial year. Also, as part of its efforts to ease global trade norms to promote services trade, the Narendra Modi-led government has also submitted its proposal in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Meanwhile, DGFT said that in April-August 2019, merchandise exports grew by 16.13% to $136.10 billion, with key sectors that showed growth during the period are petroleum products (52.42%), plastics and linoleum (36.66%), chemicals (35.41%) and electronic goods(28.28%) on year-on-year basis. Also, services exports too increased by 28.74% to $85.74 billion during the five months period. The overall exports have shown a growth of 20.69% in April – August 2018-19 to $221.83 billion (Merchandise and Services combined), it added.