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The much-delayed announcement of the rates under the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme will be made in 15 days, Director General, Foreign Trade, Amit Yadav said on Friday.

Participating in a virtual interactive session, organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yadav stated that as compared to 2019, there has been a 16 percent growth in exports for the month of April 2021 primarily due to the contribution from sectors like engineering, gems & jewellery, petroleum products, drugs and pharma, ready-made garments and spices.

Noting that the situation was completely different last year when there was a complete halt even in the movement of goods and services, he said that the government this year has restricted the lockdown to curfew in few places to ensure stability in the economy.

The DGFT also said that the government is working on the ways to reduce the number of compliance issues faced by the industries. The government has set up a dedicated COVID-19 helpline to resolve the issues faced by the exporters pertaining to the international trade such as custom clearance delays and banking issues, he added.

PHD Chamber President Sanjay Aggarwal, in his remarks, stated that the recent measures announced by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, such as extension of Foreign Trade Policy for sic months till September 2021, amendments in COVID-19 related export and import, exemptions of custom duties on Remdesivir injections, Covid-19 vaccines & oxygen related equipment and other export promotion schemes are very well-timed.

Noting that the Centre has replaced the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) with a more nuanced RoDTEP scheme with effect from January 1, 2021, he said that the MEIS application process for March 2020-December 2020 is still on suspension.

"This is directly hindering the exports and exporters are struggling to keep their businesses afloat. As several exporters have major portion of their profits in the MEIS, but that being blocked, they are facing liquidity issues. This needs to be addressed as immediately as possible," he said.

Aggarwal also said that the Service Exports from India Scheme has still not been extended for 2019-20, despite having been announced. This is blocking funds of many service export organisations, he said, requesting that it should be opened for 2020-21.

In regard to the Duty Exemption Scheme, he suggested the simplification of Advance Authorisation scheme with help exporters who struggle to get the issuance and redemption.

According to Aggarwal, there is also a need to safeguard MSMEs and iron and steel industry from skyrocketing steel prices. At the same time, there is also a need to levy uniform duty on all forms of iron ore exports, including pellets.

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