Chairmans Desk

Dear Friends,

The second fortnight of August was spent working closely with the Duty Drawback Committee on working out the details of the ROSL scheme for Garments and made -ups to be implemented from October 1, 2017 onwards, meeting with officials of the DGFT/ Ministry of Textiles to take up the Council’s proposals under the much awaited new Foreign Trade Policy and assisting exporters with GST related queries.

As we write this column we also have a new Minister for Commerce & Industry, Mr Suresh Prabhu.

Meeting with the Duty Drawback Committee.

The Executive Director along with representatives of leading Made-ups exporters met the Duty Drawback Committee under the chairmanship  of Shri G.K Pillai at Delhi on  August 24, 2017 to discuss the data relating to ROSL for made ups . The Committee was highly sympathetic and requested for additional information which has since been provided by the Council.

Meeting with Officials of DGFT/ Economic Advisor Ministry of Textiles

The Councils officers also followed up with meetings with the concerned Additional/ Joint DGFTs in the Head Office at Delhi to follow up on the Councils proposals with regard to the Foreign Trade Policy. They also met the Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Textiles and briefed her of the issues being faced by the exporters on account of GST.

Need to devise Alternative Export Promotion Schemes

An important issue which is coming up in all our discussions with the Government is the need to identify “alternative export promotion schemes“ to the existing ones as these are likely to be phased out by 2018. Already, the Duty Drawback Scheme will get restricted to only rebate of the Basic Customs Duty (BCD) after the transition period gets over in September in the aftermath of the implementation of GST. Schemes like EPCG, Advance Authorisation, EOUs have also been affected post GST. The MEIS scrips have also lost their sheen as they cannot be used for paying IGST and have become restricted in scope.

Friends, this is an important issue as export competitiveness of the textile & clothing industry will get eroded if alternative mechanisms compatible with WTO Agreement are not devised and implemented before phase out of the existing schemes.

In this connection the Council has invited suggestions from members so that we can take it up with the Government.

I appeal to all our members to reflect on the issue and draw upon their vast experience in matters relating export trade and give us suggestions at the earliest.

New Minister of Commerce & Industry

In a cabinet reshuffle carried out by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, the erstwhile Minister of Commerce has been elevated as Defence Minister and Shri Suresh Prabhu the earlier Minister of Railways has assumed charge as the Commerce Minister.

We welcome Shri Prabhu to the Ministry of Commerce and will be meeting him at his earliest convenience in the coming week. We have already sent our proposals relating to the new Foreign Trade Policy, issues relating to GST and exports and points relating to "ease of doing business". We are hopeful that the new Minister of Commerce will take urgent steps in line with the expectations of the trade & industry.

Summing up

Friends, the current situation is sluggish and slow. Exporters are adjusting to the demands of the new GST regime including registration, filing returns, reworking the costings, withstanding price pressures.

Yet, we should work our way around all these difficulties and try to optimise our returns.

The Government is also aware about the consequences for the economy at large on account of declining exports. Many analysts have argued that in order to sustain the GDP growth rate and create employment, Indias exports should grow by at least 15% year on year.

It is a tall order but can be achieved.

Ujwal Lahoti