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New Foreign Trade Policy likely to include a chapter on ecommerce exports

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NEW DELHI: The new Foreign Trade Policy is likely to focus on encouraging exports through ecommerce as also identifying districts as export hubs while re-looking at products that are restricted or banned for export and import.

The commerce and industry ministry is drawing up the FTP 2021-26, which is likely to be released on April 1 and is expected to have separate chapters dealing with measures for ecommerce, districts as export hubs, and trade in items such as toxic chemicals, micro-organisms and nuclear material.

“More HSN (Harmonised System of Nomenclature) codes (tariff codes assigned to a traded good ) could be added for products that fall in the ‘others’ category,” said an official.

Products categorised in ‘others’ category do not have HS codes but are tagged along with parts and accessories of categorised goods. Adding more codes will help reduce India‘s trade deficit since lack of proper categorisation make these products immune to restrictions. Besides leading to customs duty evasion, this misclassification also results in import of low-quality products.

The issues were discussed at a meeting that Hardeep Singh Puri, minister of state for commerce and industry, had with industry chambers and export promotion councils on Thursday.

FTP

The Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme will be a significant feature of the policy as it has been implemented from January 1 but the incentive rates are yet to be announced. The RoDTEP will reimburse the input taxes and duties paid by exporters, including embedded taxes, such as local levies, coal cess, mandi tax, electricity duties and fuel used for transportation, which are not exempted or refunded under any other existing scheme.

The policy comes at a time when India is expected to clock $285-290 billion exports in FY21, lower than $314.3 billion in FY20.

As per the official, review procedure for the issue of import and export licenses and clearing of pending license redemption cases too could be part of the policy.

Industry body Trade Promotion Council of India has sought trade data mapping with tariff programme in order to monitor and access trade data under various trade agreements and incentive schemes.



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