The government on Wednesday extended the existing foreign trade policy (FTP) for another six months until September 30 this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a notification.
The FTP provides guidelines for improving exports to stimulate economic growth and create jobs.
On March 31, 2020, the government had extended the 2015-20 foreign trade policy for one year to March 31, 2021, amid the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown.
“The existing FTP 2015-20, which is valid until March 31, 2021, is extended until September 30, 2021,” the General Directorate of Foreign Trade said in a notification.
The Ministry of Commerce said that in view of the unprecedented situation resulting from the pandemic, which continues to persist, the government has decided to maintain benefits under various export promotion programs by extending the existing policy.
A similar extension is also made in related procedures, extending the validity of the Procedures Manual, he said.
“Exemption from the payment of IGST (integrated tax on goods and services) and compensation tax on imports made under Advance/EPCG authorizations (promotion of exports of capital goods) and by EOU (Export Oriented Units), etc. has also been extended to September 30, 2021,” he said.
The additional validity period of status holder certificates is also extended, which will allow them to continue to receive the specified benefits.
Exports from April to February this fiscal fell 12.23% to $256 billion. Imports during the period also fell by 23.11% to $340.8 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $84.62 billion.
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