FOREIGN TRADE POLICY/EXTERNAL POLICYIn every five years, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, announces theExport-Import (EXIM) policy. This is an effort towards the encouragement of foreign trade and creationof a complimentary Balance of Payments. The EXIM policy, updated yearly on 31st of March, isfollowed from 1st April.Some of the chief highlights of the current policy are:1. Extension of the DEPB scheme till May, the next year.2. Service tax will be refunded on maximum services3. Extending Income tax benefit for EOUs.4. Extension of FMS coverage and inclusion of ten more countries including Mongolia, Croatia, Ghana, Colombia, Albania, etc.5. Introduction of split-up facility6. Payment of excise duty by export oriented units on monthly basis rather than consignment basis.However, the central government reserves the right to amend any of the sections of this policy inpublic interest.Some of the focus initiatives of the policy are:To have a greater share in the global trade and generate more employment opportunities, a numberof focus initiatives that have been identified for various sectors are:Agriculture:Some of the policies that have been introduced are-Vishesh Krishi and Gram Udyog Yojana.Moreover, diverse export promotion schemes have allowed the use of export of certain restricteditems. Import of certain pesticides has been approved under the advance authorization schemes forexport of agricultural products.Handloom:MAI/MDA schemes have granted specific plans for the promotion of export of handloom items. Dutyfree import on certain items has been conferred which has proved to be beneficiary. These includehand knotted carpets.Handicraft:Establishment of new handicraft SEZs would enable the procurement of products from the cottagesector and also help in the finishing for exports. It is also suggested that the import entitlement ofmachineries, tools, trimmings and equipments will be 5% of the value of FOB for export that wasrecorded the previous year. Import trimmings, consumables and embellishments are under theauthorization of handicraft EPC.Gems and Jewellery:The replenishment scheme holds the authority to allow the import of 8K or above gold backed up byan Assay certificate for the specification of weight, alloy content and purity. Several import duties havebeen revised for jewellery, cut and polished diamonds, marine sector, electronics, leather andfootwear, etc.Major export items of India :Live animals, milk products, wheat, rice, coffee, tea, spices, cumin seed, tamarind powder, sesameseed, sugar, henna, herbal extract, medicines, fertilizers, chemicals, salt, iron ores, minerals, books,leather products, textile, dyes and pigments, home furnishing, footwear, brass items, Aluminiumitems, sanitary wear, ceramic, glassware, flanges, fittings, embroidered and Zari items, pipe and pipefittings, handicraft, cables, medical disposables, laboratory equipments, surgical equipments, sportsgoods, wooden furniture and various other engineering and electrical products.Major Import items of India :The rising expenditures of the middle income sections of the society have resulted in the imports of
the country. The major items of imports are:Cereals and preparations, Fertilizers, Edible Oil, Sugar, Pulp and waste paper, Paper, Newsprint,Crude rubber, Non-ferrous Metals, Metalliferrous ores and metal scrap, Iron and Steel, CrudePetroleum and petroleum products, Pearls, Precious and Semi-Precious stones, Machinery, ProjectGoods, Pulses, Coal and its derivatives, Non-metallic, Organic & Inorganic chemicals, Dyeing, tanningmaterial, Medicinal products and Pharma products, Artificial resins, yarn & fabrics(silk, cotton, wool),electronic goods, wood and wood products, gold and silver, essential oils, computer software, etc.Get a comprehensive idea about the various import and export items of India and their contributionthe growth of the Indian Economy under this section.Top Exports ProductsValues in US$ Millions
DFIA Scheme: There is a big change which has not been informed. The brokers in the market knewthis change & they are already sitting on huge DFIA s to drain the exchequer. This will put thebonafide exporters to a loss & discrimination. Though the problem of total duty exemption wasrevealed immediately after the DFIA scheme was announced last year, no efforts were made to plugthe loophole. Now in case of transferability the Additional duty will have to be paid. Two wrongs nevermake one right. The position is that unwarranted confusion & cause for litigation is created. It showsthat we can only mess up the things but not promote exports. The surge in issuance of the DFIA in thelast few days tells you the complete storyThe Duty Drawback clause in respect of DFIA is confusing. If the duty is paid then this will bereimbursed as duty drawback is difficult to comprehend. What will happen in case of non exciseable unit & in case the unit wants to sell the material locally.The provisions are absurd & simply confirm that the policy makers simply don’t understand what theyare trying to do. You may say drafting is really poor.In Advance Authorisation regarding Drawback it is mentioned that Drawback allowed will bementioned in authorization, which is confusing. The supplies to SEZ are physical exports are possible in Indian Rupee. There is an error to theextent that these supplies will require 33% value addition in such circumstances. You cantdiscriminate against yourself. Service tax exemption/remission on services rendered in India and utilised by exporters. This isreiteration & a serious problem exists in this case. The problem remains about the mechanism todetermine the incidence. How the MOC&I & the MOF determine what is the component & how will itbe refunded. The MOC&I agrees for this but the problem is with the issuance of MOF notification.Therefore without specifying the way to determine the incidence on exports,the provision is futile/eyewash. Services rendered abroad and charged on exports from India to be exempted from service tax. Atleast Service Tax on commission payable to the foreign agents will not be payable anymore underany circumstances. Efforts to be made to provide timely disbursement of central sales tax, duty drawback, and terminalexcise duty. In case of any delay, interest to be provided with effect from 1.4.2006. This is again areiteration. It is difficult to understand that why DEPB, Advance Authorisation & refund of fees hasbeen kept out of this purview. If there is delay in issuing DEPB then why the DGFT should notcompensate the exporter on reciprocal basis? You deduct 10% of the entitlement if the application isnot made in time. Exporters affected by force majeure or other unforeseen circumstances/reasons, to be provided moretime for completing their export obligation. It is difficult to understand that why such leniency is notshown in Revalidation of authorizations for imports. Defaulters are treated as son in laws & efficientexporters are cheated.The limit for duty free import of samples increased to Rs.75,000 from Rs.60000. Rationalisation in the threshold criteria and reclassification of status holder scheme. Once again newnames have been used instead one star, two star etc. It is difficult to understand that what benefitsare derived out of such gimmicks.Duty on fuel and 4% special additional duty to be factored in the DEPB scheme. This was reportedly
already implemented in case of the Duty Drawback scheme. However the FTP says that this elementwill be reversed through the Brand Rate in case Cenvat is not claimed. Now this is ridiculous becausethe incidence will be too low to motivate you to go for the claim. The administrative work & expensewill be prohibitive. This is also not in accordance with the Minister’s speech. EPCG scheme revamped to achieve simplification and make it user friendly. The scheme with 5 %duty does not make sense at all. The exporters are being cheated/drained. Non Cenvating of CVDpaid in cash is again a ridiculous provision & it shows that there is no proper application of mind totrace the implication of policy provision. If you are an new exporter or exporter with huge export base,you are a looser. A complete analysis will be given later. Benefit of all duty exemption and remission schemes such as advance authorisation scheme, DEPBand DFIA extended to the supply of goods to developer and co-developer of the SEZ. This used toexist earlier in case of EOUs & is simply a clarification. Verification at customs dispensed with under EPCG and advance authorization scheme. Customshas failed to implement this in case of DEPB till date even though the scheme is in operation since1.10.05. why the MOC&I not able to implement. Encouragement to agro exports through VKUY. ‘Vishesh Krishi and Gram Udyog Yojana’ (VKGUY) isbeing expanded to include coconut oil, soyabean oil, potato flakes, meals and flours, cardamom, foodpreparations like soups, sauces, pasta & bakery products, artistic wooden furniture, herbal extracts offorest products, malt and minor forest produce, etc. The DGFT seems to have given up therecognition criterion & the list seems to be expanded on the basis of influence. A new Scheme forincentivising agro processing with status holders being rewarded with duty credit scrips equal to 10%of the value of agricultural exports, provided they use them for duty redemption on imports of coldstorage, pack houses, reefer vans, etc. Why this should be restricted to the big boys is difficult tofathom? This would be over and above the benefits available from the existing schemes of Ministriesof Agriculture and Food Processing, etc. Benefits under VKGUY would also be given to such EOUswhich do not avail direct tax benefits. The provision is not reflected in the FTP/HBP. It seems to be alast minute inclusion. It is difficult to understand that why this is restricted to Agro products becausethere are other units which are 100% EOU s & not availing direct taxes. A new scheme to give impetus to exports of high tech products, is being launched. The 10%entitlement is too high & invitation to cheat. Incremental growth basis is quite confusing. It is designedto dole out benefit to Big boys on you take care of me & I take care of you approach. In spite of DFCE& Target Plus scheme bad experience this is done..Mica and its variants, barley, oats, soyabean, cigar/cheroots, bovine fats and copra are beingincluded under Focus Product scheme. Also, 16 new countries including 10 former CIS countries arebeing included under the Focus Market Scheme (FMS).Exports and employment in handloom and handicraft sectors provided further push through duty freeaccess to machinery and equipment for effluent treatment plants. The export obligation period underEPCG Scheme for them is being increased from 8 to 12 years.To sharpen core strength of promising gems and jewellery sectors and handicraft sector, duty freeaccess to tools,machinery and equipment proposed to be provided to give them competitive edge.Export of rhodium polished silver jewellery to be encouraged further. Duty free Consumables to theextent of 3% of the FOB value of Exports are now allowed. To reduce transaction cost for diamond sector, testing facility at Dubai incorporated in the list ofcertifying agencies.
Employment, manufacturing and value additions in the EOU scheme to be encouraged further byextending the benefit of focus products, focus market, and vishesh krishi and gram udyog yojanascheme. This is again subsidization & actionable subsidy under the WTO regime & should have beenavoided. It seems this is done so that EOU exporters do not raise voices against SEZ scheme. Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) and Engineering Process outsourcing(EPO)—initiatives willbe taken to strengthen the exports. DEPB(Duty Entitlement Pass Book) Scheme stands extended for another year upto 31.3.2008.DEPB will be replaced by new scheme in consultation with the exporters. Reiteration of old statementof 2006. Import of spares, tools, spare refractories for all the existing imported plant and machinery would alsobe now allowed under Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) Scheme. This was anyhow allowed. Idon’t know why they should blow their trumpet?Block-wise fulfillment of export obligations is done away with in case of EPCG licences. This simplyabsolves the DGFT/RLA from responsibility for a long period of time. Wherever more than one concurrent EPCG authorization has been issued, the fresh EPCGauthorization would build upon the last required average export obligation only, notwithstanding theactual achievements of the previous year. (This is not reflected in the FTP or once again there is aserious drafting error- Paragraph 5.4 (i) may please be seen). This way better performance would notbe penalized. If the actual performance is lower then the EPCG holder will be put in more seriousproblem. Therefore the proposition is not in the best interest of the exporter. The baggage of averagemaintenance has no rationale & needed to be given up but plea has fallen on deaf ears. In EOU loophole for fulfillment of export obligation without effecting actual exports is reintroducedwith a variation. Para 6.9 b. The DGFT should ask themselves a question that whether hawala isbeing promoted as a policy measure! Why should somebody make payment from abroad for DTAsupplies in India. In EPCG one more absurd condition is imposed, which says that foreign exchange counted towardsthe fulfillment of export obligation (over & above the average) will not be eligible for rewards underpromotional measures. Neither one can comprehend nor fathom the rationale of such idiosyncrasy.Are you trying to promote exports or play a cruel joke! Counter sales in free foreign exchange don’t count for discharge of Export obligation anymore. Therationale is not clear. It is difficult to understand why such complications are created. Additionally, we are providing for waiving the outstanding export obligations, where force majeureand other unforeseen circumstances (read you take care of me & I take care of you) have preventedthe fulfillment of the export obligations.Developers and co-developers of SEZs would be notified for benefits for duty neutralization underDEPB, DFIA (Duty Free Import Authorization) and Advanced Authorization Schemes. Supplies ofaccessories, such as buttons and hangers by EOUs to DTA units will be counted for net foreignexchange calculations, if these items are exported along with export product from DTA. Is it anattempt to manage value addition on behalf of the exporters when there is no value addition inactuality by the EOU unit! You have to give full credit to MOC&I officials for coming out with suchtricks. EOU policy still says that Cenvat credit is available though the new policy is of exemption/remissionbut the same does not find mention. The EOU can avail of Advance Authorisation also to save the
payment of duty at the time of debonding.Second verification by the customs authorities under EPCG and advanced authorization schemewould be resorted to only on random basis. It simply provides an opportunity to harass those who donot pay. When verification is completed online, why verification on random basis is required becauseverification is completed through the computer database. Do you doubt the sanctity of the computersystems! If yes, then improve the quality of people at work or your systems. Please refrain frompromoting rent seeking! Installation certificate on imported capital goods can now be obtained from a Chartered Engineerinstead of only from an Excise official. This facility existed earlier but was taken away & nowreintroduced. It seems there is a concerted attempt (In DEPB & Advance Authorisation schemes alsoto keep the Revenue department out of the loop).The length of the existing ‘Aayat Niryat form’ is reduced substantially. Legth is not the problem butapplication of mind in eliciting the right kind of information is the problem.The word ‘manufacturing’ is being clearly defined in the new Income Tax Code to ensure greaterpredictability and stability in determining direct tax liability of domestic manufacturers. Readintroduction of loophole to allow the Income Tax benefit even when there is no manufacturing takingplace! Special Economic Zones (SEZs) A very general statement has been made to paint a rosy picturethough the truth is otherwise. These are conduits for circular trading, money laundering & subsidies.FOREIGN TRADE POLICY/EXTERNAL POLICY 2008 - 091. Introduction :India to be taken for the overall development of the country’s foreign trade. While increase in exportsis of vital importance, we have also to facilitate those imports which are required to stimulate oureconomy. Coherence and consistency among trade and other economic policies is important formaximizing the contribution of such policies to development. Thus, while incorporating the existingpractice of enunciating an annual Exim Policy, it is necessary to go much beyond and take anintegrated approach to For India to become a major player in world trade, an all encompassing,comprehensive view needs the developmental requirements of India’s Foreign trade.The Government of India, Ministry of Commerce and Industry announces Export Import Policy afterevery five years. EXIM policy, in general, aims at developing export potential, improving exportperformance, encouraging foreign trade and creating favorable balance of payments position. Thecurrent Exim Policy covers the period 2004-2009. The Export Import Policy (EXIM Policy) is updated
every year on the 31st of March and the modifications, improvements and new schemes becomeseffective from 1st April of every year.2. General Objectives of Policy : 1. To establish the framework for globalization. 2 To promote the productivity competitiveness of Indian Industry. 3 To Encourage the attainment of high and internationally accepted standards of quality. 4 To augment export by facilitating access to raw material,intermediate, components, consumables and capital goods from the international market. 5 To promote internationally competitive import substitution and self-reliance..3. Focus Of the policy ( 2008 – 2009) :Trade is not an end in itself, but a means to economic growth and national development. Theprimary purpose is not the mere earning of foreign exchange, but the stimulation of greatereconomic activity.The Foreign Trade Policy is rooted in this belief and built around two majorobjectives. These are: 1. To double our percentage share of global merchandise trade within the next five years; and 2. To act as an effective instrument of economic growth by giving a thrust to employment generation.4. Strategy :These objectives are proposed to be achieved by adopting, among others, the following strategies:
1. Unshackling of controls and creating an atmosphere of trust and transparency to unleash the innate entrepreneurship of our businessmen, industrialists and traders.2. Simplifying procedures and bringing down transaction costs.3. Neutralizing incidence of all levies and duties on inputs used in export products, based on the fundamental principle that duties and levies should not be exported.4. Facilitating development of India as a global hub for manufacturing, trading and services.5. Identifying and nurturing special focus areas which would generate additional employment opportunities, particularly in semi-urban and rural areas, and developing a series of ‘Initiatives’ for each of these.6. Facilitating technological and infrastructural up gradation of all the sectors of the Indian economy, especially through import of capital goods and equipment, thereby increasing value addition and productivity, while attaining internationally accepted standards of quality.7. Avoiding inverted duty structures and ensuring that our domestic sectors are not disadvantaged in the Free Trade Agreements/Regional Trade Agreements/Preferential Trade Agreements that we enter into in order to enhance our exports.8. Upgrading our infrastructural network, both physical and virtual, related to the entire Foreign Trade chain, to international standards.9. Revitalizing the Board of Trade by redefining its role, giving it due recognition and inducting experts on Trade Policy.10. Activating our Embassies as key players in our export strategy and linking our Commercial Wings abroad through an electronic platform for real time trade intelligence and enquiry dissemination.
Main Annual Supplement Highlights (2008 – 09) 1. DEPB scheme has been extended till May 2009. 2. Refund of service tax on almost all the services. 3. Income tax benefit to 100% EOUs has been extended by Government. 4. Coverage of FMS has been increased and additional 10 countries have been included. These are Mongolia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia, Croatia, Honduras, Djibouti, Sudan, Ghana and Colombia. 5. Split-up facility under DFIA Scheme introduced. 6. Duty free import of samples has been increased from Rs.75, 000 to Rs.1,00,000. 7. Value of jeweler parcels, through Foreign Post Office is raised to US$ 75,000. Earlier it was from US$ 50,000. 8. EOUs shall be allowed to pay excise duty on monthly basis, instead of the present system of paying duty on consignment basis. 9. Customs duty payable under EPCG Scheme has been reduced from 5% to 3%.6. Some Other Highlights of The EXIM Policy : 1. Inter State Trade Council : To engage the State Government inproviding an enabling environment for boosting international trade, by setting up an Inter State Trade Council. 2. Removal of Export Cess : Proposed to abolish cess on export of all agricultural and plantation commodities levied under various commodity Board Acts. 3. Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme (EPCG) : This scheme is extended to Agricultural sector, SSI sector, Retail Sectors in order to promote exports from them.
4. Service Export : To upgrade infrastructure in the service related companies. 5. Agri Export : Benefits under ‘Vishesh Krishi Upaj Yojana’ have been extended to exports of poultry and dairy products in addition to export of flowers, fruits, vegetables and their value added products. 6. Package for Marine Sector : Duty free import of specified specialized chemicals and flavoring oils as per a defined list shall be allowed to the extent of 1% of FOB value of preceding financial years export. 7. Advance Licensing Scheme : The Scope of Advance License for annual requirement has been extended to all categories of exporters having past export performance. 8. Duty Free Replenishment Certificate : Brass scrap, Additives, paper board, and dye stuff have been removed from the list of items prescribed for import under DFRC. 9. Procedural Simplification : Proposed to simplify procedures and reduce the documentation requirements so as to reduce the transaction cost of the exporters and thereby increase their competitiveness 10. EDI Initiatives : DGFT shall introduce an automated electronic system for filing, retrieval and authentication of documents based on agreed protocols and message exchange with other authorities such including Customs and banks.7. Implications of The Foreign Trade (2004-09): 1. Implications on Indian Economy:
This policy propose to simplify procedures and develop technology and infrastructure. 2. Implications on Agriculture: – Special Agricultural Produce Scheme has been introduced for promoting the export of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and their value added products. – 3. Implications on Handlooms and Handicraft: – Establishment of Handicraft SEZ and Handicraft Export Promotion Council would promote development of Handloom and Handicraft Industry – 4. Implications on Gem and Jewellery Sector : – This is special thrust area in this policy. Duty free imports of other inputs would give a further boostto this sector – 5. Implications on Leather and Footwear Industry : – Duty free import as a specified percentage of exports. Exemption on customs duty on equipment for effluent treatment plants would help promoting export form this sector. – 6. Implications on Service Industry : An exclusive service promotion council has been set up in order to map the opportunities for key services in key market.Highlights of the Interim Indian Foreign Trade Policy 2009 - 10.FTP BENEFITS WITHOUT BRC• Duty credit scrip now will be issued without waiting for realization of export proceeds. The exporters shall be required to submit proof of export proceeds realization within the time limits prescribed by Reserve Bank of India. The issuance of these benefits without BRC would be subject to a Bank Guarantee/LUT in terms of Circular to be issued. This provision shall be applicable for applications made on or after 1.4.2009.ADDITIONAL BENEFITS UNDER PROMOTIONAL SCHEMES• Rupees 325 Crore will be provided under Promotional Schemes for Leather, Textile etc. for exports.• Benefit of 5% under FPS has been notified for export of handmade carpets, in lieu of 3.5% benefit allowed earlier under VKGUY Scheme.GEMS & JEWELLERY SECTOR• Import restrictions on worked corals have been removed to address the grievance of gem and jewellery exporters.
• An authorized person of Gem & Jewellery units in EOU shall be allowed personal carriage of gold in primary form up to 10 Kg in a financial year subject to RBI and customs guidelines.ADVANCE AUTHORISATION• Export obligation period against advance authorizations has been extended up to 36 months in view of the present global economic slowdown.• Supply of an Intermediate product by the domestic supplier directly from their factory to the Port against Advance Intermediate Authorization, for export by ultimate exporter, has been allowed.• In case of Advance Authorization for Annual Requirement where Standard Input-Output Norms are not fixed, the provisions in Customs Notification have been amended in line with Foreign Trade Policy.DEPB SCHEME• At present, DEPB/Duty Credit Scrip can be used for payment of duty only on items which are under free category.EPCG SCHEME• Under the EPCG scheme, in case of decline in exports of a product(s) by more than 5%, the export obligation for all exporters of that product(s) is to be reduced proportionately.• EPCG Authorization / Redemption Form i.e. ANF 5A and 5B are being simplified and new forms would be issued shortly.PREMIER TRADING HOUSES• At present, the Government of India recognizes Premier Trading Houses based on an export turnover of Rs.10, 000 crore in the previous three years and the current year taken together.TOWNS OF EXPORT EXCELLENCE• Bhilwara in the state of Rajasthan and Surat in Gujarat have been recognized as Towns of Export Excellence for the textiles and diamonds respectively.OTHER FACILITATION MEASURES• Re-imbursement of additional duty of excise levied on fuel under the Finance Acts would be admissible in respect of EOUs.• Re-credit of 4% SAD, in the case of payment of the duty by incentive scheme scrips.• As per the existing procedure, applicants have to submit individual invoices certified by the jurisdictional excise authorities for claiming duty drawback claims. A simplified provision has now been introduced where exporters can now submit a Central Excise certified statement in lieu of individual invoices and a Monthly Statement confirming duty payment in lieu of ER-1/ ER-3, for the purpose of Deemed Export Benefits.• Export of blood samples is now permitted without license after obtaining �no objection certificate� from Director General of Health Services (DGHS).• Simplified export procedure for issue of Free Sale Certificate.
In addition to the above, DGFT and Department of Revenue provisions have been aligned in followingmatters:• Utilization of Duty Credit scrip allowed under Reward Schemes of Chapter 3 / DEPB in Chapter 4 of FTP for payment of duty under EPCG Scheme .• Notification of DFIA scheme aligned with FTP provisions.• Granite Sector EOUs have been allowed procurement of spares up to 5% value of quarrying equipment in each financial year.• Re-import of exported pharmaceutical samples by EOUs without payment of duty for statutory requirement of Stability or Retention has been allowed and notified by DOR.• Department of Revenue shall issue necessary clarification thereby allowing to supply goods and services at Zero Duty to authorized organizations notified for Zero Duty import.• Customs Notification to allow import of Agricultural Capital Goods / Equipments by Status Holders.