Indian garment exporters have called for simplifying key operational mechanisms in the export process under the new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) announced last April.
The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) has asked the textiles ministry to simplify the policy's authorisation, inspection and classification norms, the Business Standard has reported.
The AEPC's main request is the withdrawal of the need for a landing certificate for exported goods, required as proof to claim benefits under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS). Introduced in April 2015, the scheme aims to boost sagging exports, covering tariff lines for 5,012 items that earn duty credits.
Exporters claim that getting the documents to show proof of landing at the destination country entails cost and delay. According to the AEPC, electronic shipping bills should be sufficient for declaration of intent. While filing the said bills, exporters are required to declare they are claiming rewards under MEIS and to mark 'Y' in the reward item box. Recently, many had complained of inefficient Customs house agents inadvertently ticking 'N'. Thus, though the item in many cases was eligible, once an 'N' had been ticked, such shipping bills were not transmitted to the online system run by the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT).
To help exporters claim MEIS benefits in such cases, DGFT has allowed them to give physical copies of the shipping bills after filing an MEIS application to its regional authorities. However, this relaxation is restricted to exports made in April and May in 2015. The AEPC has demanded an extension of this facility.
The AECP has asked the government to emulate long-term garment exporting rival Bangladesh to facilitate easier transportation and avoid corruption by allowing vehicles carrying finished export merchandise and headed towards exit points like sea ports, airports and rail heads to display 'On Export Duty' signage. It has also asked for 'On Export Processing Duty' signage for vehicles carrying input material for production of export merchandise.
It has also called for proper identification and classification of goods from the current challan system.
To boost competitiveness, AEPC also wants the norms for advance authorisation for annual requirement be relaxed. Required for all duty exemption schemes, it has asked the authorisation be allowed for garment exporters only based on past performance.
Earlier this month at the India International garment Fair (IIGF), AEPC Chairman Ashok G Rajani had called for a stimulus from the government, saying the garment export industry can potentially generate 2,200 jobs on every investment of Rs 30 crore. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India