SME Times News Bureau | 26 Mar, 2020
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has suggested a 10-point action plan to
provide the much needed boost to exports that has been hit hard by COVID-19
pandemic and closing of borders and restriction on people's movement.
In a representation to the government, CII has said that export consignments
which are ready for shipment should be allowed to be transported from the
manufacturer's factory or warehouse to the Customs facility as an exemption and
such consignments should clearly show on the accompanying Invoice and e-way
Bill that the goods are for an export shipment meant for a foreign buyer.
Second, it has suggested that a one-time relaxation should be provided by the
Government by way of extending the time limit for filing bill of entry and
payment of customs duty.
Also given lockdown and financial hardship which Companies are facing, it is
desirable that deferred payment of duty is continued for the month of March
2020 and may be extended till June 2020, CII said in its action plan for the
"The short-term impact on exports has started showing up with exporters
facing liquidity crunch as customers payments are not coming through and
shipments of ready goods are not able to leave the factory or lying at the port
because of lockdown situation globally," said Chandrajit Banerjee,
Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The industry chamber has also sought extension of 5 per cent interest
subventions scheme to all exporters; extra duty drawback of 3 per cent be
extended for six months, expedite GST refund and extend moratorium on loan,
interest payments, utility payments and declaration of NPAs by banks by at
least six months are required to overcome the crisis.
As fourth point under its 10 point action plan, CII has said that 100 per cent
or maximum number of bills of entries should be processed based on
self-declaration of importer and through the Electronic Risk Management System
and in case of any deficiencies, importer undertaking should be accepted, and
cargo be released. This would ease supply chain process by ensuring speedy
clearance of cargo, the release said.
Considering COVID-19 restrictions and the fact that only the procedural part of
obtaining/issuance of Export Obligation Discharge Certificate (EODC) by DGFT is
pending, the Customs Department should not go for encashment of Bank Guarantee
for at least another six months, i.e. until September 30, 2020, the CII said.
The industry body has also sought waiver of demurrage and container freight
station (CFS) charges to provide relief to exporters who in current scenario
are facing increase in the import container clearance time that has resulted in
Also as courier services may get affected during this crisis, sending the
original shipping documents by courier could be difficult and so the Customs
authorities, shipping lines and CFS should give some relaxations during this
time to the exporters and importers by way of relaxing the requirements for
originals or waive the demurrage charges resulting from delayed document rece
ipts, CII said.
It has also suggested that there is a need to identify few ports and airports
where exports will be handled with priority.
In other suggestions, CII has said that banks need to identify branches in
sufficient numbers which would give priority to exporters process all export
documents on an urgent basis. Also, packing credit be increased by at least 25
per cent for exporters and the threshold for returning export packing credit be
increased from 180 days to 360 days.
Last, CII has strongly recommended that all export benefits as per current
Foreign Trade Policy should be continued until June 30, 2020 or announcement of
new Foreign Trade Policy.