Govt's current foreign trade policy likely to continue till March 31

The new foreign trade policy that the government was planning to unveil on October 1 is likely to be delayed yet again, people aware of the matter said.   Officials said the commerce and industry ministry wants to continue with the existing foreign trade policy (FTP) for another six months and may take some more time till the government finalises a fresh support or any incentive-based scheme for exporters, which is crucial at a time when circumstances have changed since the outbreak of the pandemic.   The present policy came into force on April 1, 2015 and was valid for five year.....
The new foreign trade policy that the government was planning to unveil on October 1 is likely to be delayed yet again, people aware of the matter said.

 

Officials said the commerce and industry ministry wants to continue with the existing foreign trade policy (FTP) for another six months and may take some more time till the government finalises a fresh support or any incentive-based scheme for exporters, which is crucial at a time when circumstances have changed since the outbreak of the pandemic.

 

The present policy came into force on April 1, 2015 and was valid for five years. However, a new FTP was defe­rred and the existing policy was extended till March 31, 2021 as businesses grappled with disruption caused by the pandemic, and a subsequent nationwide lockdown.

 

Earlier this year, the policy was extended for the second time till September 30. Similar to what it had done in the past, the government continued to offer existing incentives under various export promotion schemes during this period.

 

“The current policy is likely to be extended up to March 31. Most of the issues related to other popular exporter incentive schemes, be it MEIS, RoDTEP (merchandise exports from India scheme and remission of duties and taxes on exported products) have been ironed out. The government has also announced that it will clear all arrears under various export incentive schemes,” one of the officials cited above told Business Standard.

 

For instance, a World Trade Organization (WTO) compliant export boosting scheme has been notified and rolled out this year, even before the announ­cement of a fresh road map for trade.

 

“It may take some time to work on new initiatives and elements (related to exports), as there’s nothing much left to announce in the FTP at this point of time,” the official said.

 

For this fiscal, the main target is to accelerate exports and reach the $400-billion aim. During April-August, exports worth $164.10 billion were exported, up 67.33 per cent on year and up 23.25 per cent as compared to the same period in 2019.

 

An industry official said at a time when India is aggressively trying to sign trade pacts with other nations, this may not be the right time to launch any new trade policy. A good idea could be to only do an annual review of the FTP and make amendments as and when required, the official said, citing anonymity.



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