Commerce Min to meet export promotion councils on Oct 7

New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal will meet different export promotion councils on October 7 to discuss ways to promote the growth rate in the country's outbound shipments, an official said.

The meeting assumes significance as India's exports contracted by 3.52 per cent to $32.62 billion in September against $33.81 billion in the same month last year, while the trade deficit widened to $26.72 billion during the last month.

Representatives from export bodies, including the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, Apparel Export Promotion Council and Council for Leather Exports, would participate in the meeting, the official said.

According to an export council, issues which would figure in the meeting include export credit refinance facility, increase in interest subsidy rates, removal of GST (Goods and Services Tax) on exports freight, exports benefits for rupee shipments to Russia and other countries, and removal of exports duty on some products.

Exporters have urged the government to continue with the GST exemption on export freight. "This is a serious issue for us. We are already facing global headwinds and high inflationary pressure. The GST exemption is more crucial in the current scenario as container rates are already very high," an exporter said, adding that airfreight is already very high in comparison to sea freight.

The exemption from GST on export freight was introduced in 2018. It ended on September 30. It was extended twice. Exporters now have to pay 18 per cent GST on export ocean freight for which they can claim a refund.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Ministry on Tuesday clarified that there is no export ban on rice and traders can ship the commodity after paying 20 per cent duty. On September 8, the government banned exports of broken rice.

In a trade notice, the directorate general of foreign trade said it has received representations regarding rice (5 per cent and 25 per cent broken) where irrevocable letter of credit has been issued before September 8 is also being stopped at

the ports.

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