The Reserve Bank of India has extended the time limit for realisation of export proceeds from 9 to 15 months.
The Finance Ministry has relaxed the compliance requirements and extended the deadlines for filing GST (Goods and Services Tax) returns. Many other government departments have also given necessary relaxations to help the trade cope with the lockdown
across the country.
These timely actions of the government help alleviate at least some of the anxieties of the trade.
The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has expressed satisfaction that many of its recommendations have been accepted by the government. However, some of its requests that have not yet been acted upon include the extension of interest equalisation scheme, amnesty scheme for old advance authorisations, EPCG (Export Promotion Capital Goods) authorisations, and EOU for regularisation of default by payment of only Customs duty without interest and penalty to lessen the burden on industry.
Extension in pre- and post-shipment credit by a minimum of 180-270 days, exemption from interest and penalty on crystallisation of bills on due date, loss in forward cover to be converted in interest free loan to be paid after 90-180 days, auto enhancement of credit limits by 10 per cent have also not been acted upon.
Other requests include immediate clearance of all exports benefits to exporters, including those for risky exporters (against a bond), relaxation in physical examination norms due to lesser availability of manpower, waiver of premium or pre-shipment credit guarantee and some other fiscal reliefs to the industry. Hopefully, these suggestions will come up for consideration.
Many exporters are surprised that the DGFT has not extended the validity of the duty credit scrips that expire during the lockdown.
Expiry of such unutilised duty credits will amount to financial loss for exporters. The DGFT had granted certain onetime condonation under EPCG scheme that exporters could not take advantage of by end March.
The last date for that dispensation needs to be extended. Similarly, some exporters had not claimed the duty credit scrips against services exports made in 2016-17. The last date for their claims with suitable late cut expired on March 31. They need suitable extension of last date. These and similar matters are left out, perhaps inadvertently. The DGFT should consider extension for such matters.
The Customs brokers have highlighted many difficulties in functioning, mainly the problems their employees face in attending office. Their representations deserve prompt attention.