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Govt set to raise funding for exports scheme, clear dues – Times of India


New Delhi: After months of dilly-dallying, the Centre is set to clear the pending dues of exporters. The allocation under Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme, that was put in place, is being enhanced to Rs 17,000 crore for the current financial year, against Rs 13,000 crore provided earlier. In addition, Rs 2,000 crore is being provided to clear the arrears of services exporters for 2019-20 under the now-defunct Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS).
The finance ministry had hoped to save a large amount of funds due to reworking the export promotion schemes. It had also re-deployed large parts to the production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes, which will entail an allocation of close to Rs 2 lakh crore over five years.
The move follows extensive consultation between the finance and commerce ministries, with the entire mechanism being finalised at the highest level. Proposals for the Cabinet have also been moved and a decision is expected too, official sources told TOI.
The twin moves will offer much-needed relief to exporters, especially those in the services space, who have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Even for goods exporters, refund of levies has not come through, despite the government announcing the new scheme RoDTEP from April to ensure that goods shipped from India do not become uncompetitive due to state and central levies.
In the absence of payments, exporters have been forced to borrow or dip into their already depleted reserves to meet capital requirements, which has added to their costs. While the finance ministry was not seeing anything wrong with the steps it had taken in the Budget, the entire problem was due to lower allocation made by it. Due to lower budget, the scheme was getting restricted to only a few segments.
The enhancement of the allocation will now enable the commerce and revenue departments to refund duties paid by all exporters. “The coverage of RoDTEP will be available to all the 11,000 tariff lines for which rates will be notified,” said an officer.
A mechanism is also being proposed for units in special economic zones (SEZs), with the details to be worked out in the coming months. A panel comprising experts as well as industry representatives will look into the mechanism.
There is, however, no clarity yet on some of the dues from the erstwhile Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) that was abandoned as the US dragged India to the WTO, arguing that it was not compliant with global rules.
In fact, several other schemes have been wound up too, making RoDTEP the primary tool, with the focus now shrinking to refunding levies, instead of providing incentives.





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