Declaring that she wants to “make India a significant factor in world trade by 2020, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the foreign trade policy 2015-20.
The new policy, which is in line with the government’s other initiatives like Make in India and Digital India’ lays down a blueprint for the Indian Inc. to enhance exports by leveraging simplified schemes and policy measures like subvention and tax breaks.
The new policy also focuses on simplifying old schemes and procedures under one streamlined policy structure.
The government has subsumed two schemes – “Merchandise Exports from India Scheme
(MEIS) and Services Exports from India Scheme (SEIS). This is expected to provide the country’s services sector with incentives such as duty credit that can be used to pay customs duty, while importing other goods and services.
Other salient features of the foreign trade policy 2015-20 include boosting processed and packaged agricultural and food items with better branding and quality control assurances. Importers will also gain from tax breaks and financial support.
Under the scheme, agricultural and village industry products would be supported
across the globe.
Especially emphasiese is laid on promoting defence, pharma and environment-friendly products. These exporters of these products will be given specific tax breaks for manufacturing and trading purposes.
Tax breaks such as reduction of export obligation under EPCG (export promotion capital goods) scheme will be a major draw for exporters. The obligation will be reduced by 25 percent.
Special support is laid in the new policy to incentivies manufacturing units located in special economic zones (SEZs).
The policy also underlines the mainstreaming of state governments and union ministries roles in formulating trade policy for better coordination.
Market diversification has been simplified with division of world market into three geo-economic segments.
Especial focus is being laid on branding campaigns and activities to promote exports and goods manufactured in India.
Entrepreneurial training programmes for enhancing trade will be coordinated under the skills India initiative.
All these policy measures said Sitharaman is focused at raising exports to $900 billion by 2019-20 from $465.9 billion in the 2013-14.