The Office of DGFT has enhanced the MEIS rates on handicrafts items from 5 per cent to 7 per cent. The items include Attars, Candles, Jewellery Boxes, Wooden Frames, Statutes, Handmade Paper, Handmade Lace, Shawls, Scarves, Kohlapuri Chappals, Bangles, Glass Artware, Article of Brass, Aluminium, etc.

During the mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 which was announced in December 2017, MEIS incentive on certain handicraft items was enhanced by 2 per cent but there were many other handicraft items which were left out. OP Prahladka, Chairman- EPCH had met Alok Vardhan Chaturvedi, DGFT and raised various issues which included enhancement of MEIS rates on handicrafts items; amendments in Duty Free Imports of essential embellishment, trimmings, tools and consumables; exemption from payment of IGST on DFIC; Clarity and modification in import of wood species; deletion of upper limit on e-commerce transaction; issuance of eBRC for small transactions etc. The DGFT gave a patient hearing to all the issues and assured all possible help in the matter.

Prahladka welcomed the decision of the DGFT and said that it will help the handicrafts exporters to recover some of the input cost involved in production of handicrafts and would also encourage them to have competitive pricing and increase its share in exports. He further said that the other issues which were taken up during the meeting would also be addressed in the days to come.

Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director, EPCH said that the sector was awaiting this much needed inventive and would go a long way in giving fillip to the sector. This will also help in arresting the downturn in exports that the handicrafts sector has witnessed in 2017-18.The exports of handicrafts have shown a decline in exports by (-) 6.05 per cent in rupees terms and is at `22,916 cr and by (-) 2.30 per cent dollar terms and is at $3,555.40 mn in 2017-18.