Govt to announce RoDTEP rates soon after addressing certain implementation issues, says Commerce Secretary

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 03, 2021

Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan   -  The Hindu

PLI scheme compatible with WTO norms; may start denting Chinese imports from next year

The government is addressing certain implementation issues related to the much-awaited Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme for exporters and the rates will be announced in an “early’’ time frame, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan has assured.

“There are no doubts on the fact that the RoDTEP will be introduced from January 1 this year as it has been announced as part of government’s policy. There is no question of any reflection on that. It is a new scheme. Needless to say it has some implementation issues and we have been addressing those issues….And I think it will be implemented in an early time frame,” Wadhawan said at a media briefing on Thursday.

Exporters have been waiting impatiently for the RoDTEP rates to be announced so that they they can take their pricing decisions accurately.

Also read: RoDTEP: Govt explores hiking outlay to include all eligible sectors

The Revenue Department has been finding it difficult to announce the rates suggested by the expert panel headed by former Commerce Secretary GK Pillai because of inadequate budget. There are expectations now that the Finance Ministry may increase allocation for the scheme and discussions are on with the Commerce Ministry on the final rates.

The popular Merchandise Export from India Scheme, which was also a scheme for refunding taxes on inputs, was withdrawn by the government from January 1 as it was not strictly calculated on the basis of taxes paid and hence not permissible at the WTO.

Merchandise exports

Commenting on provisional data of merchandise exports in May, showing a growth of 67.39 per cent over May 2020 level and 7.93 per cent over May 2019 level, Wadhawan said that India’s export performance continues to be impressive.

“Sectors such as leather & leather products, man-made yarn/fabrics/made-ups and marine products, which had been exhibiting negative growth during the pandemic (2020-2021), have picked up from March 2021 onwards,” Wadhawan pointed out.

The growth in exports was mostly due to an increase in volume as price effect was not dominant globally, he added.

Export target

He said the export target of $400 billion set by the Commerce Ministry for 2021-22 was feasible although it would require a steep jump over last fiscal’s exports valued at $290.18 billion. Exports in 2020-21 were lower by 7.4 per cent than the previous fiscal due to the Covid-induced lockdown in the early part of the year.

On free trade agreements, Wadhawan said India was hoping to start negotiations with the EU and the UK once the initial consultations were over and was also trying to fast-track negotiations with Canada, Australia and Peru.

When asked by India’s imports from China were still high despite a number of schemes specifically targeting increased domestic production to check Chinese inflow, the Secretary said the country’s trade with China had already become more balanced. He added that the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes that were getting implemented in the areas of mobile and electronics and bulk drugs and pharmaceuticals would result in a greater impact being visible from next year.

Answering questions on the compatibility of the PLI scheme with WTO norms, Wadhawan said that all aspects of the PLI scheme were linked to production and hence it was totally WTO compatible.

Published on June 03, 2021

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