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Last updated: 07 Apr, 2020  

Exports.9.Thmb.jpg COVID-19 threat to exports

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Bikky Khosla | 07 Apr, 2020

Amid COVID-19 crisis, the government extended the existing foreign trade policy for one year till March 2021. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said this in a notification, which adds that the benefit under all the export promotion schemes, except SEIS, will continue to be available for another 12 months. No doubt, this decision has been taken in the background of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

As per the notification, import-linked export schemes like Duty Free Import Authorisation and Export Promotion Capital Goods have been extended by one year; validity periods of both the Status Holder Certificates and ‘Transport Marketing Assistance on the specified Agricultural Products’ are also extended. In addition, last dates for applying for various duty credit Scrips and of filing applications for refund of TED/Drawback, Transport and Marketing Assistance have been extended.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 crisis has emerged as a big threat to Indian exports. Already, several industrial sectors, bearing the brunt of the crisis, have urged the government to take urgent steps to address their concerns. On the other hand, it can well be expected that the government will do its best to help the sector, but considering the depth of the economic emergency, both in the domestic and global fronts, it seems for some time at least the export sector must seek solace cowering in the bunker.

It is likely that post COVID-19 crisis, the Indian export sector will face greater protectionism and risk aversion in global markets. Additionally, with a large chunk of its workforce, particularly those employed in MSMEs, already back in the hinterlands, it will be difficult initially for the sector to meet demand even if situation in our overseas markets improve. So, the government must keep a blueprint ready to help the sector fight such challenges.

I invite your opinions.

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