TRADE UPDATE #49

Time to Up The Game

22/11/2019

Amid a global economic slowdown, India’s exports continue to show signs of stress. According to official data, the country’s exports slipped by 1.11% to US$26.38 billion in October. Having said that, the de-growth numbers have narrowed on a month-on-month basis; in September, exports shrank by 6.57% to US$26 billion.

The government is mulling over a series of reforms to further promote exports from India. MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari hinted that the government is working on two policies to encourage MSME exports and narrow down imports. On the other side, even the Commerce Ministry is considering measures to help exports with cheaper foreign exchange loans.

However, in order to accelerate exports originating from India, the country should now shift its focus from star-sectors to prospective industries. Moving forward in this direction, earlier this week the central government has announced a series of initiatives. the government has set up a 23-member Development Council to promote bicycle exports. The Ministry of Commerce has also asked the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to identify an export promotion council to boost furniture exports. How these efforts will pan out, and whether they will actually help local exporters, only time will tell.


INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Exports contract 1.11% in Oct, trade deficit at $11.01 bln

India’s exports shrank at a slower pace in October with key sectors of petroleum, leather and carpet showing a decline in outward shipments even as a steeper contraction in imports helped narrow the trade deficit from the year-ago period. Exports contracted 1.11% to $26.38 billion in October while a sharper shrinkage in imports left a trade deficit of $11.01 billion compared with $18 billion last year. Imports shrank 16.31% to $37.39 billion, according to official data released by the commerce and industry ministry on 15th November.


MSME

Government working on policy to push MSME exports: Nitin Gadkari

The government is working on two policies to increase MSME exports and bring down imports by encouraging local production, Union MSME and Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on 16th November. While addressing the gathering at a Small & Micro Enterprise (SME) conference in Nagpur, Gadkari mentioned that the MSME sector has 29% contribution in the country’s growth and 48% of export is done through MSMEs.


POLICY

India files appeal against WTO panel report on export subsidies

India has filed an appeal against the World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel report, which ruled that many of its popular export promotion incentives were not in sync with multilateral trade rules and needed to be withdrawn. The case was initiated by the United States (US). “India filed an appeal on 19th November concerning the WTO panel report in the case brought by the United States in ‘India — Export Related Measures’. The panel report was circulated to WTO members on 31st October 2019,” according to an official release


POLICY

India's CBIC eases input tax refunds for exporters

India’s Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has asked officials not to insist on proof of realisation of export proceeds for processing input tax refunds. Delay in issuance of refunds has been a major concern by exporters since the goods and services tax (GST) began in 2017. CBIC said exports have been zero-rated under the Integrated Goods and Services Act. As long as goods have actually been exported, even after a period of three months, tax officials should not insist on payment of integrated tax first and claiming refund at a subsequent date, according to a report in a leading business newspaper.


TRADE

Govt mulling to provide forex loan at cheaper rate to exporters: Piyush Goyal

The government is considering a proposal to provide foreign exchange loans at cheaper interest rates to exporters, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal informed Parliament on 20th November. “The proposal is presently under consideration,” he said in a reply to a question about whether the government proposes to provide foreign exchange loans at a cheaper rate of interest to exporters. He said the government is considering a proposal to provide higher insurance coverage to the banks on their export-credit-disbursement.


OTHER NEWS

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