The government on Wednesday extended the existing foreign trade policy (FTP) for six more months up to September 30 this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a notification. FTP provides guidelines for enhancing exports to push economic growth and create jobs. On March 31, 2020, the government had extended the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 for one year till March 31, 2021, amid the coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown.
“The existing FTP 2015-20, which is valid up to March 31, 2021, is extended up to September 30, 2021,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in a notification. The commerce ministry said that in view of the unprecedented situation arising out of the pandemic, which is persisting, the government has decided to continue benefits under various export promotion schemes by extending the existing policy.
Similar extension is also made in the related procedures, by extending validity of the HandBook of Procedures, it said. “Exemption from payment of IGST (integrated goods and services tax) and compensation cess on the imports made under Advance/EPCG (export promotion for capital goods) Authorisations and by EOUs (export oriented units) etc. has also been extended up to September 30, 2021,” it said. Further validity period of the status holder certificates is also extended and this will enable them to continue to avail the specified benefits.
Exports during April-February this fiscal dipped by 12.23 per cent to USD 256 billion. Imports during the period too declined by 23.11 per cent to USD 340.8 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 84.62 billion.