The Key Relief measures provided by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Department of Commerce, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to mitigate the impact of pandemic COVID-19 are as under:-
• In order to give relief to businesses and affected individuals amidst the stress caused by the pandemic COVID-19, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has introduced several relaxations and extensions in deadlines etc. with regard to compliances mandated under its schemes and activities.
• Government has extended the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020 till 31.03.2021. The validity of various import-linked export schemes such as Duty-Free Import Authorisation (DFIA) and Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) has been extended by one year.
• Government has allowed Electronic filling and Issuance of Preferential Certificate of Origin for India’s Exports under various FTAs/PTAs w.e.f. 07th April 2020. In view of the movement restrictions in place due to pandemic COVID-19 in India, the designated agencies will issue digitally signed electronic certificates of origin only and no hard copy of the same will be provided.
• Government has allowed extension till 31.03.2021 in case of one-time condonation under the EPCG Scheme. Therefore, the time period to receive requests for block-wise extension; extension in Export Obligation Period, and submission of installation certificate is further extended up to 31.03.2021.
• Government has amended Export Policy of certain APIs and formulations such as vitamins B1, B6, and B12, tinidazole, metronidazole, acyclovir, progesterone, and chloramphenicol, among others from restricted to free. DGFT had earlier restricted the exports of bulk drugs and their formulations to ensure there is no shortage of drugs in India.
• Government has amended Export Policy of Diagnostic Kits and Ventilators including any artificial respiratory apparatus or oxygen therapy apparatus or any other breathing appliance/device and Sanitizers from restricted to free.
• Government has provided relaxations on compliances to be met by units/developers / co‐developers of SEZs including the filing of Quarterly Progress Report (QPR), SOFTEX form to be filed by IT/ITES units, filing of Annual Performance Reports (APR) by SEZ units, among others.
• A helpdesk has been operationalized by DGFT for pandemic COVID-19 related Export or Import issue. Exporters/importers may directly flag their issues through http://rla.dgft.gov.in:8100/CRS_NEW/ and/ or through email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• DPIIT has set up a Control Room to monitor the status of transportation and delivery of goods, manufacturing, and delivery of essential commodities. The telephone number is + 91 11 23062487 and the email id is email@example.com.
• Government e-marketplace (GeM) has undertaken measures to facilitate procurement in view of the pandemic COVID-19 such as the introduction of a new page for tracking COVID-19 categories and the number of sellers.
Source: Press Information Bureau (PIB)