While the Scheme for Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Product (RoDTEP) will replace the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS), the existing dispensation of MEIS plus old Rebate of State Levies (RoSL) will continue in the textile sector up to December 31, Minister of finance and corporate affairs Nirmala Sitharaman announced.

Textiles and all other sectors that enjoy incentives up to 2 per cent over MEIS will transit into RoDTEP from January 1, Sitharaman said while announcing a slew of measures to boost economic growth. “In effect, RoDTEP will more than adequately incentivise exporters than existing schemes put together,” she said in her presentation. The cost to the exchequer because of RoDTEP is projected at around Rs. 50,000 cr. The announcement comes in the backdrop of India’s merchandise exports declining by 6.05 per cent to $26.13 bn in August compared to the figure in the same month last year.

The government will also soon start organising annual mega shopping festivals at four destinations in March next year to facilitate exchange between global producers and consumers, she said. The festivals will cover four themes: Textiles; leather; gems and jewellery; handicrafts, tourism and yoga.

She said there will be a fully automated electronic refund route for input tax credits (ITC) in goods and services tax (GST) that will be implemented by September end. This is expected to monitor and speed up ITC refunds. A special dispensation will be offered for facilitating and on-boarding handicrafts artisans and handicraft cooperatives directly on e-commerce portals to enable seamless exports. With the help of organisations like the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), artisans across India will be enrolled, she said.

Technology will be leveraged to further reduce ‘time to export’ through digitisation of all export clearances at ports, airports and customs offices and by eliminating manual services. An action plan to reduce the turnaround time at airports and ports adhering to international standards will be implemented by December. The actual turnaround times will be published in real time for each port and airport for improved performance, she added.