TRADE UPDATE #86

Cause For Concern

20/09/2020

After a steady rise since May, Indian exports have plunged in August to US $22.70 billion, which was US $23.6 billion in July 2020 and US $25.9 billion in August 2019. Experts anticipated the Indian economy to gain momentum as the country is now relaxing its nationwide lockdown in phases.

However, a constant rise in the coronavirus cases has led to several regional lockdowns, disrupting productivity and multiple supply chains in the country. According to reports, India added 461,587 COVID-19 cases last week alone.


COMMODITY

UQC standardisation processes disturb pharma exports, experts raise concerns

The Indian pharma industry is facing issues at the customs clearance due to implementation of mandatory standardisation of Unit Quantity Codes (UQCs) in bills of entry and shipping bills for the purpose of export/import declaration filed on Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).


EXPORTS

Exports limp back in Aug-20 but trade deficit widens

The momentum in exports could not be sustained as Aug-20 exports fell below July levels. A spurt in COVID cases has hit rural and semi-urban productivity in a big way. That widened the merchant trade deficit in Aug-20. Trade deficit touched a yearly high of (-$15.17) billion in Jan-20, but that transformed into a small trade surplus of $0.80 billion by Jun-20. In the last 2 months, the trade deficit has widened once again as exports failed to keep pace and the incremental benefits of low oil prices were waning.


BILATERAL TRADE

Indo-China trade deficit dips to $5.48 billion in April-June

In a written reply, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said the bilateral trade between the countries too dipped to USD 16.55 billion during the first three months of 2020-21 as against USD 21.42 billion in the same period last year.


TAXATION

E-invoicing: Simplifying the GST invoicing process

EInvoicing or electronic invoicing is a process of validating all B2B & export invoices electronically through a designated portal. The taxpayers would be required to upload the details of each invoice on the Invoice Registration Portal (IRP) and obtain an Invoice Reference Number (IRN) and digitally signed QR code. Post the issuance of IRN and QR code, an invoice would be considered as a valid invoice under GST.


POLICY

Government working on setting up single window system for clearances: Piyush Goyal

Despite the presence of several IT platforms for investing in India such as in departments of the central government, and state single-window clearances, investors have to visit multiple platforms to gather information and obtain clearances from different stakeholders. To address this, the creation of a centralized investment clearance cell which would provide end-to-end facilitation support, including pre-investment advisory, information related to land banks and facilitating clearances at central and state level was proposed


OTHER NEWS

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