India extends exports duty incentives to boost exports

New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) The government on Friday extended duty incentives to a large number of products, including textiles and electronics, to increase competitiveness of Indian exports.

The commerce ministry notified the list of 110 new tariff lines or products to which duty benefits have been extended under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS), and increased rates or country coverage, or both, for existing 2,228 items.

Under the export incentive scheme, the government provides duty benefits at 2 percent, 3 percent and 5 percent depending upon the product and country.

Global support has been extended to products including textile items, pharmaceuticals, project goods, auto components, telecom, computer, electrical, electronics and railway transport equipments.

Earlier, benefits to these items were provided to a few countries.

The new items added under the scheme include medical instruments, sports goods, value added processed products of natural rubber, chemicals and plastics.

The move comes in context of a steady decline in exports as a result of the global economic slowdown.

Declining for the tenth straight month India’s merchandise exports fell nearly 25 percent in September to $21.84 billion, mainly due to sharp drop in export of petroleum products, iron ore, and engineering goods.

Cumulative exports for the period April-August at $111.09 billion registered a 16.17 percent decline over last year’s corresponding period at $132.53 billion, continuing the declining trend, caused by the global economic slowdown, fall in crude oil prices and appreciation of the rupee.

Addressing a meeting of exporters here earlier this month, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said the allocation for export incentive schemes in the current financial year has been increased to Rs.21,000 crore from the earlier Rs.18,000 crore.

During the meeting, exporters raised issues hampering exports’ growth like imposition of minimum alternate tax (MAT) on special economic zones (SEZs), high cost of credit and transactions cost.

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