Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani and Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal recently called a meeting with the heads of Export Promotion Councils (EPCH) to formulate the strategies for enhancing export in each sector which comes under the Ministry of Textiles and to resolve the problems and challenges commonly faced by the handicrafts sector. OP Prahladka, Chairman, EPCH gave an overview of the sector at the meeting and informed the Ministers about the strategies being adopted by the EPCH for export growth. The major suggestions placed by the Chairman included enhancement of list of essential embellishment, trimmings, tools and consumables to be imported duty free and exemption from payment of IGST on import of such items. The Chairman also suggested including ‘merchant exporters’ in the list of exporters eligible for benefit of ‘interest equalisation scheme’ (previously known as ‘interest subvention scheme’) and issuance of eBRC in case of exports of handicrafts to Iran. He also called for banks to pay penalty in case of a delay in the issuance.

He asked for a scheme of ROSL on handicraft exports and ease of engagement of foreign designers in the handicrafts sector as well as a reduction in the cap for them. Prahladka also suggested the Ministers to enhance allocation of funds under MAI and relaxation in operational guidelines for funding under the scheme to include markets of the US, Canada, the EU, Japan, China and other developed markets for extending invitation to buyers to RBSM’s organised in India.