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Industry seeks clarity on RoDTEP, new FTAs, lower non-tariff barriers

Industry has sought dedicated special economic zones (SEZ) for e-commerce exports, trade pacts with African and Latin American countries especially to push automobiles in those markets and a reduction in non-tariff barriers imposed by the European Union on certain marine exports from India.

In a meeting with commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Monday, various industry associations also asked the government for clarity on the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme as it is a reimbursement scheme and not an incentive scheme.

“Most industry representatives raised issues related to RoDTEP and that the rates should be high,” said an official who participated in the virtual meeting.

This comes ahead of the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS), a key incentive scheme for exports, being wound up by this month. RoDTEP will replace the MEIS. Rewards under the scheme are payable as percentage of realised free-on-board value (of 2%, 3% and 5%) and the MEIS duty credit scrip can be transferred or used for payment of a number of duties including the basic customs duty.

The RoDTEP will reimburse the input taxes and duties paid by exporters, including embedded taxes, such as local levies, coal cess, mandi tax, electricity duties and fuel used for transportation, which are not exempted or refunded under any other existing scheme

“Industry said that RoDTEP is a reimbursement scheme, not a direct incentive programme. They also sought resolution of MEIS for the last two years,” said an industry representative.

India’s exports fell 9.07% in November, steeper than 5.12% in October, to $23.43 billion.

The meeting comes as the government is drawing up the Foreign Trade Policy for for 2021-26 as part of which incentives for both goods and services are likely to be announced. While RoDTEP and production linked incentives are being considered to boost merchandise exports, the government is looking at modifying the Service Export from India Scheme (SEIS) by capping the invectives and linking them to job creation.

Representatives of industry chambers like CII, Ficci and Assocham along with regional chambers and sector-specific associations participated in the meeting.

Non-tariff barriers that the EU imposes on frozen shrimp and new markets for Indian automobiles through trade agreements with Africa and South America were also taken up.

“Certain sections of the industry also sought dedicated SEZs to promote e-commerce exports,” the industry representative said.

Separately, the minister asked industry chambers to collaborate with Invest India and IBEF to promote Brand India, according to the representative. The Business News

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