India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu, released the Mid-term Review of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20 in New Delhi on December 5, 2017.
The focus of the policy is mainly on measures to boost the exports from labour-intensive and MSME sectors and to increase employment generation in the country. Emphasis has also been given on ‘Ease of Trading’ across borders.
“FTP would leverage the long-term advantages of the historic reform of the GST in terms of reduced compliance and logistics costs,” said Prabhu.
The Commerce Minister further stressed on transparency and trust within the industry and maintenance of Quality Standards to succeed in the international market.
Industry trade bodies such as Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) and Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) have hailed the measures announced by the Ministry.
“We welcome the new measures announced during the mid-term review of the policy. The mid-term review of the FTP 2015-20 has made provisions which will boost trade facilitation and ease of doing business,” said Ashok Rajani, Chairman, AEPC.
Adding to that, P. Nataraj, Chairman, Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) has appreciated the formation of National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) under Cabinet Secretary to focus on transparency, technology, simplification of procedures, infrastructure augmentation, etc.
“24 x 7 customs clearance extended to 19 seaports and 17 air cargo complexes would also help the exporters,” he added.
Highlights of Mid-term Review of the Foreign Trade Policy:
Export incentives under Merchandise Exports from India (MEIS) have been increased by 2 per cent across the board for labour-intensive MSME sectors leading to an additional annual incentive of Rs. 4,567 crores.
This is in addition to the already announced increase in MEIS incentives from 2 per cent to 4 per cent for ready-made garments and made-ups in the labour intensive textiles sector with an additional annual incentive of Rs. 2,743 crores.
Further, incentives under Services Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) have also been increased by 2 per cent per cent, leading to additional annual incentives worth Rs. 1,140 crores.