Fostering Competitiveness & Trust: Fireside Chat with DGFT on India’s Export Promotion Strategies

India Business and Trade Conclave 2023 featured a series of thought-provoking and insightful sessions, providing an unprecedented deep dive into India’s Foreign Trade Policy 2023 and the trajectory of exports going forward. 

The highlight of the event, undoubtedly, was the Fireside Chat with Santosh Kumar Sarangi (IAS), Director General Foreign Trade, which was moderated by Om Prakash Hisaria, Senior VP, Reliance Industries Ltd.

The discussion delved into the core pillars of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2023. The DGFT  shared insights on India’s export competitiveness and government facilitation measures and also addressed queries of the industry in attendance.

IBTC2023: FTP 2023

The Fireside Chat with DGFT at the India Business and Trade Conclave shed light on the government’s vision for fostering a dynamic and globally-connected economy. The conversation with DGFT Santosh Kumar Sarangi, moderated by Om Prakash Hisaria, Senior VP, Reliance Industries, offered invaluable information and understanding of the new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP). The discussion brought forth fresh insights regarding the implications and objectives of the policy, providing industry professionals with a clearer roadmap.

In this article, we explore the key highlights of the discussion for our readers.

Amnesty Scheme: Supporting the idea of “Vivaad se Vishvaas”

Amnesty Scheme is a key pointer in the new Foreign Trade Policy and has gained much attention since. When asked about the ideation of the scheme, Mr. Sarangi explained that the scheme is a step forward in offering ease to exporters. He further explained, “To align with the government’s perspective of promoting alternative dispute resolution and fostering trust-based relationships with exporters, a more proactive approach has been adopted. It emphasizes on fulfilling the obligations rather than resorting to legal proceedings or issuing notices.”

In line with this, an Amnesty Scheme has been introduced to provide exporters with an opportunity to meet their export obligations by paying basic duties.

He added that under the Amnesty Scheme, exporters are given the chance to rectify any non-compliance or outstanding obligations by fulfilling their requirements and paying the applicable duties. Importantly, interest calculation will not be applied to additional special duty and special custom duty payments made by exporters.

While supporting the idea of “Vivaad se Vishvaas” (from dispute to trust), Mr. Sarangi said, “The government is working towards establishing a trust-based relationship with exporters.” For this, the exporters have been provided with a pathway to resolve any discrepancies or outstanding issues. With Amnesty Scheme, the government aims to foster a positive business environment for the export community.

E-commerce Exports: A Glowing Opportunity for MSMEs

In order to enhance e-commerce for export promotion and improve the competitiveness of Indian exporters, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has initiated discussions with various government departments and agencies. These include the Department of Revenue, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Icegate, and the Department of Post.

When Mr. Hisaria asked whether there is any specific strategy in place for B2C e-commerce exports, Mr. Sarangi elaborated:

“One of the key areas of focus in these discussions is the Remission of Duties and Incentives for exporters. DGFT is working closely with the Department of Revenue to address this issue and provide suitable incentives to exporters, particularly those from Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). By streamlining and simplifying the remission process, the aim is to make Indian exporters more competitive in the global market.”

Another important aspect being addressed is the flow of postal bills into Icegate. Icegate is an e-commerce portal used for customs clearance, and ensuring that postal bills are seamlessly integrated into this system is crucial for efficient export processes. DGFT is collaborating with the Department of Post to streamline this integration and enable smoother logistics operations for exporters.

Building a robust regulatory system is also a priority. This system aims to address challenges related to returns and other regulatory requirements in e-commerce export transactions. By establishing clear guidelines and procedures, it will facilitate easier compliance for exporters, especially MSMEs, and foster a more conducive business environment.

The overall objective is to boost the competitiveness of Indian exporters, particularly those in the MSME sector, in the e-commerce space.

Export Promotion: A Facilitator Rather than Promoter

For export promotion, the DGFT shared his views on the government’s pathway for the promotion of exports and the remission-based model.

The government has adopted a remission-based model, which ensures a fair and equitable mechanism for exporters, he stated. Under this model, exporters can claim reimbursement for all the taxes and duties paid during the export process. By remitting these taxes and duties from the export value, exporters gain a competitive edge in the global market. This remission-based model is set to become the standard going forward.

The government is actively facilitating export promotion by pushing digital enablement. By embracing digital technologies, exporters can streamline their processes and enhance their competitiveness. Additionally, the government is focused on expanding market access through Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Reverse Buyer Seller Meets (RBSMs). These initiatives aim to create favourable conditions for international trade and open up new opportunities for Indian exporters, he added.

Looking towards the future, the government plans to organize larger-scale international events that allow domestic players to showcase their capabilities and compete with the best in the world. These events provide a platform for Indian exporters to demonstrate their products and services on a global stage, fostering growth and further promoting the export sector, Mr Sarangi said.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing..Great initiatives by Govt and platform created by TPCI..

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