Centre extends foreign trade policy by another six months till Sept 30

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) yet again extended the existing foreign trade policy (FTP) (2015-20) by another six months till September 30 to ensure policy continuity in external trade.

The development comes amid disruptions in global trade due to month-long tension between Russia and Ukraine. The FTP is an elaborate policy guideline and a strategy to promote export of goods and services. The existing policy came into force on April 1, 2015, and was valid for five years.

However, a new FTP was deferred and the existing policy was extended till March 31, 2021, as businesses were grappling with the disruption caused by the Covid-19. The policy was once again extended till September 30 2021, and thereafter till March 31, 2022 as the government did not have anything substantial to roll out in the new policy.

Government officials said the Centre may take more time to come with any fresh scheme for exporters.

Over the last few years, the government has phased out several incentive-driven schemes for exporters. For instance, merchandise exports from India scheme (MEIS) was phased out after a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling stated that certain export incentive schemes violated the provisions of the trade body by giving export subsidies for a wide range of goods. Thereafter, a WTO-compliant export boosting scheme was already notified and rolled out last year, even before the announcement of a fresh road map for trade.

Currently, exporters get support from schemes such as interest equalisation scheme, transport subsidy scheme, Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) and Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP).

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