Foreign Trade Policy may focus on job creation, improving trade logistics

GST rates tweaked incentives doubled as measures to boost garment exports

Mid-term review of Foreign Trade Policy announced; key highlights

Incentives under the Services Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) have also been increased by 2%.

"There has been across the board increase of 2 percent in existing MEIS incentive for exports by MSMEs/labour-intensive industries involving additional incentive of Rs 4,567 crore", the policy statement said.

The focus of the FTP, he said, will be on exploring new markets and products as well as increasing India's share in traditional markets and products.

The mid-term review was supposed to take place around the time GST was implemented (July 1).

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In April 201, the government had announced several incentives in the five-year FTP for exporters and units in the special economic zones (EPZs) to almost double India's exports of goods and services to $900 billion by 2020.

Adhia while addressing a gathering of exporters said that GST is an innovation which can spoil the games people were playing to avoid paying taxes.

Faced with stagnating export growth, India has chose to offer more incentives to exports from labour-intensive and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) dominated sectors even as it launched initiatives like the use of trade analytics to identify new markets for its products.

The five-year FTP was announced on April 1, 2015, and set an ambitious target of India's goods and services exports at United States dollars 900 billion by 2020.

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A sharp fall in export of items such as readymade garments, gems and jewellery and leather products has resulted in a 1.2 percent year on year decline in exports of merchandise in October to $23.09 billion.

The FTP will provide "additional annual incentive of Rs 749 crore for the leather sector, Rs 921 crore for hand-made carpets of silk, handloom, coir, jute products, Rs 1,354 crore for agri products, Rs 759 crore for marine products, Rs 369 crore for telecom, electronic components, Rs 193 crore for medical equipment", the ministry said in a tweet. Chaudhary also stressed on the need to diversify the export basket. These scrips can be used to pay duties on inputs and can be traded.

In addition, the validity period for duty credit scrips under MEIS has also been increased to two years from 18 months earlier.

Exporters have been voicing concerns about challenges on account of the GST implementation, with some even suggesting that they should be kept out of the ambit of the new indirect tax regime and the drawback refund be expedited as it was blocking their working capital.

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Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia will meet financial advisors of all ministries to assess the impact of GST on government projects. "It requires continuous monitoring of the situation on the ground and flexibility in approach, which GST council has shown in last few months".

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