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Last updated: 18 May, 2021  

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Bikky Khosla | 18 May, 2021

Rates under the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme will be announced in the coming two weeks, a top official said last week. This tax refund scheme for exporters was approved last year, with the aim to give a boost to the country's exports. It replaced the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) with effect from January 1, 2021, but the rates are yet to be notified.

In the backdrop of this, exporters are totally in dark on how they compute the benefits under the scheme for quoting for new orders. With many exporters facing severe liquidity problems, the sector has long been pointing out that delay in announcing the rates would have implications for future exports as well, and now the latest development comes as a ray of hope. It is expected that though delayed, clear guidelines on the scheme will soon be available.

It is also encouraging that last week the Union Commerce Minister met the Export Promotion Councils to discuss various issues concerning international trade. He added that besides RoDTEP, the Department of Commerce has taken up several issues of exporters with the Ministry of Finance. He also suggested exporters to approach the Covid helpdesk of the Department for resolving problems emanating due to Covid related measures.

Meanwhile, exports grew to $30.63 billion in April, higher by 195.72 percent over the $10.36 billion reported in April 2020. No doubt, low base effect powered this performance, but it is encouraging, particularly when we compare it with exports worth $26.04 billion registered in April 2019. It is also good to see the labour-intensive sectors performing so well. In another positive development, CBIC has launched a special refund and duty drawback between May 15 and May 31 to ensure liquidity for exporters in this difficult period.

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