Foreign trade policy, schemes to be extended by 6 months till Sept 30

Amid coronavirus outbreak, and the subsequest national lockdown to prevent its soread, the government has decided to extend the existing foreign trade policy (2015-20) for six more months till September 30, 2020, an official told news agency PTI. Similarly, all the existing schemes under the policy will be extebded till September.

Some more measures are also expected to be provided to exporters to ease strain caused by the outbreak, the official added.

Meanwhile, the commerce ministry is already in consultation with all stakeholders for the preparation of the next policy (2020-25), as the validity of the current one ends on March 31, 2020. The ministry's arm directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) is formulating the policy.

At present, tax benefits are provided under merchandise export from India scheme (MEIS) for goods and services export from India scheme (SEIS).

Exports during April-February this fiscal dipped by 1.5 per cent to $292.91 billion. Imports during the period declined by 7.30 per cent to $436 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $143.12 billion.

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