Commerce Ministry working for early resolution to MEIS restrictions: Goyal

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 30, 2020 Published on July 30, 2020

Says Centre is working with States for easier labour law, soft launch of land bank portal, single window clearance for investments

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has assured industry that his department is in dialogue with the requisite authorities to sort out concerns on the Finance Ministry’s decision to limit benefits under the popular Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) for exporters to just ₹9,000 crore for the April-December period of FY21, and is looking for an early solution.

Listing the on-going initiatives to increase ease of business in the country, the Minister said that the Centre is working with States on labour law regulation based on the Uttar Pradesh model at a pan-India level, an early soft launch of land bank portal and a single window clearance system for investments. Decriminalisation of laws was also an on-going exercise and all departments were examining various laws in their domain to take it forward.

The Minister was speaking at the ‘National Digital Conference on Easing Doing Business for Atmanirbhar Bharat’ organised by CII on Thursday.

On the issue of industry concerns related to limiting MEIS payments to ₹9,000 crore, as opposed to the outgo of ₹40,000 crore, Goyal said a solution that would not seriously affect government finances is being sought.

Solutions sought

“It is not that the MEIS scheme is going away. It is more of a cash flow issue. All are aware that Covid-19 has had a significant impact on government revenue. We are trying for early solution which can be win-win for both sides,” Goyal said

The MEIS scheme provides incentives in the form of duty credit scrip to the exporter to compensate for his loss on payment of duties.

On the need for flexible labour laws to help the industry deal with the Covid-19 crisis, Goyal said that the Centre is in touch with 16 States and all UTs and had received proposals from them. “We are trying to commonalise their ideas. We are looking at how States can offer easy to implement the labour law ecosystem...We are working on labour law regulation, like Uttar Pradesh, on a pan-India level,” he said.

In May this year, the UP government approved an ordinance exempting all establishments, factories, and businesses from the purview of most labour laws for three years.

Goyal said that the worries on availability of land for industry in India are unfounded, as thousands of hectares of land had already been identified. He said that the Centre is planning a soft launch of the land bank available with States and will create a land bank portal; six States have already shared the data for this.

On the proposed single window system for investments, Goyal said that the government’s effort is to try and bring all good practices on one platform and the single window is genuine with no back-doors. He said his team is in constant touch with State departments to ensure that the single window gets expedited.

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Published on July 30, 2020
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