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DGFT says e-commerce to get duty benefits under MEIS
Apr '16
The government has said that online transactions of goods in accordance with e-commerce norms will be entitled to duty benefits under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS). The decision was promptly criticized by a traders' body.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) defined e-commerce for the purpose of MEIS as a mode of buying and selling of goods and services, including digital products, conducted over digital and electronic network.

"For the purpose of MEIS, e-commerce shall mean the export of goods hosted on a website accessible through the internet to a purchaser.

"While the dispatch of goods shall be made through courier or postal mode, as specified under the MEIS, the payment for goods purchased on e-commerce platform shall be done through international credit/debit cards" and as per a RBI circular, the DGFT said on Tuesday.

Under the MEIS, the government provides duty benefits at 2 per cent, 3 per cent and 5 per cent depending upon the products and country.

With the increasing use of internet across the globe, large amount of trade is also conducted through online platforms.

The government's definition of e-commerce for the purpose of exports has drawn fire from the traders body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). It said that instead of defining "retail trade", the government is rushing to define e-commerce trade.

In a statement, it said "CAIT is unable to understand the hurry of the government in matters of e-commerce and lack lusture attitude towards retail trade".

CAIT also reiterated its demand for a national trade policy for retail trade and a separate ministry for internal trade. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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