Govt assessing cash outgo on proposed scheme of input tax reimbursement for exporters

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on September 14, 2019 Published on September 14, 2019

The popular Merchandise Export Incentive Scheme has been scrapped as it is not compliant with WTO rules   -  Sanjit Das

Proposal to extend RoSCTL scheme to all export sectors to be finalised by Commerce Ministry for Cabinet nod

The Department of Expenditure is examining the financial implications of the proposed extension of the new input tax reimbursement scheme, the Rebate on State & Central Taxes & Levies (RoSCTL), for all export sectors.

The implementation of the RoSCTL scheme, so far extended only for garments and made-ups, will be done in a phased manner for all sectors in tandem with the phasing out of the Merchandise Export Incentive Scheme (MEIS). The popular MEIS scheme is not compliant with World Trade Organisation rules.

“The DoE had asked for an Expenditure Finance Committee memorandum on the proposal which had been sent by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade. The DoE will now have some meetings with the EFC for appraising the new scheme following which it can be sent to the Union Cabinet for clearance after incorporation of views from other Ministries and Departments,” a government official told BusinessLine.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry had floated a draft Cabinet note on the RoSCTL scheme in July. The proposal was to extend and implement the RoSCTL for all sectors in a phased manner, on the lines of the garments and made-ups sectors, along with phased MEIS removal. A similar scheme was approved by the Union Cabinet for the garments and made-ups sectors in March.

WTO conditions

“The MEIS scheme for the textiles sector has to definitely go first, as its phase-out period ended in 2018 as per the WTO rules. However, it is also not possible for the scheme to continue for all other sectors for long. This is because India as a country may no longer be eligible for export subsidies under the multilateral regime because its per capita Gross National Income exceeded the $1,000 mark long ago,” the official said.

The US has already challenged India’s export subsidy schemes, including the MEIS, at the WTO.

The RoSCTL, which replaces the Rebate of State Levies (RoSL) scheme that reimbursed only certain State taxes, includes all embedded and other taxes that are not covered under existing schemes. These include value added tax on fuel used in transportation, captive power, farm sector, mandi tax, duty of electricity, stamp duty, embedded SGST and CGST paid on inputs and central excise duty on fuel. The maximum rate of rebate for apparel was fixed at 6.05 per cent and for made-ups at 8.2 per cent.

The reimbursement of duties under the RoSCTL is through freely transferable scrips that can be used to pay duties.

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Published on September 14, 2019
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