Exporters body FIEO Sunday suggested a series of measures including outright exemption from GST, interest subsidy for agri-sector, and more funds for MSME players to boost outbound shipments. With increasing protectionism in several countries, domestic exporters need incentives to increase shipments, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Ganesh Kumar Gupta said. “These support measures, if provided on time has the potential to take the country’s exports to USD 375 billion in 2019-20 and create lakhs of jobs. This fiscal, we will cross USD 325 billion to USD 330 billion,” he said on Sunday.
On Goods and Services Tax (GST), he said, it is necessary that an outright exemption window may be provided to exporters as was in existence before the GST regime to mitigate the liquidity problem. “Though, the government has taken several measures to provide quick GST refunds to exporters, but due to one reason or the other, substantial GST refunds remain outstanding for long time causing acute liquidity problem which adversely affect our exports growth,” he said. There is a good potential for agricultural produce in overseas markets and, for that there is a need to extend the interest subsidy scheme to the sector, he added.
Besides, the FIEO president sought more funds for improving trade related infrastructure in states, incentives to promote shipments of value added branded products, steps to increase trade with neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangaldesh, and benefits on sales to foreign tourists. “To reduce transaction time and cost simultaneously increasing competitiveness, there is a need to provide more facility to the MSME exporters in the forthcoming foreign trade policy particularly of non-fiscal nature,” Gupta said adding exemption from IGST under advance authorization scheme.
Under this scheme, manufacturers are allowed to import inputs at zero duty but only for the export purposes. During the April-January period of the current fiscal, exports grew 9.52 per cent to USD 271.8 billion. Several key sectors like gems and jewellery, rice, marine product, leather, tea, coffee and cashew has recorded negative growth for the current period. Since 2011-12, India’s exports have been hovering around USD 300 billion. During 2017-18, the shipments grew by about 10 per cent to USD 303 billion.