India's Trade Overview



A number of steps have been taken over the past few years for export promotion & ease of doing business. These include:

• Reduction in the number of mandatory documents for imports and exports to 3 each.
• Introduction of electronic import-export code (e-IEC) w.e.f. April 2016.
• Exporters can source inputs/capital goods without upfront payment of GST under Advance Authorisation, EPCG and 100% EoU Scheme.
• Merchant exporters have to only pay 0.1% GST to source goods from their domestic suppliers.
• A number of processes have been digitised. Businesses have the online application option for all DGFT schemes through DGFT’s EDI system – IEC, Advance Authorization Scheme, Annual Advance Authorization Scheme, DFIA, EPCG Scheme, Annual EPCG Scheme, MEIS, SEIS, a
FPS, FMS, MLFPS, VKGUY, SFIS, SHIS, Incremental Export Incentivisation Scheme, Authorization for import and export of restricted items. Interface with other agencies (Customs and RBI) is also facilitated through this EDI system.
• An online grievance redressal service Contact@DGFT was launched on the DGFT website in September 2017. It’s single point contact for all foreign trade-related issues of exporters and importers.
• Online approval is available for 97% of products under MEIS.

The Market Access Initiative scheme of the Department of Commerce aims to provide financial support to eligible agencies to undertake various market access initiatives specified in the Scheme including any direct/indirect activities for marketing, market research, capacity building, branding and statutory compliances in importing markets.

Unless otherwise specified under a specific provision, the scheme is open to the following organisations/ agencies:

• Departments of Central Government and Organization of central/state governments including Indian missions abroad
• Export promotion councils
• Registered trade promotion organizations
• Commodity boards under the Department of Commerce
• Apex trade bodies recognized under Foreign Trade Policy of Government of India
• Recognised industrial & artisan clusters
• Individual exporters (only where specifically indicated)
• National level institutions (e.g. Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs), Indian Institute of Management (IIMs), National Institute of Designs (NIDs), NIFT etc.), research institutions/ universities/recognized laboratories, etc.

The MAI Scheme is based on Market – Product/ Services approach and the eligible agencies should submit a comprehensive project based on scientific analysis for gaining market access under various provisions of the scheme. In order to maximize the benefits of participation in international fairs and exhibitions, such efforts should be linked with effective publicity campaign, seminars, buyers-sellers meets etc.

In February 2019, the government has proposed an increase in the export promotion schemes to Rs 4,115 crore for 2019-20 as opposed to the budgeted estimate of Rs 3,681 crore in 2018-19. Apart from the MAI scheme, the government is planning to increase allocation to the jewellery sector, Export Credit Guarantee Corporation and interest subsidy scheme. 

The government has also been supporting a number of mega sectoral events in collaboration with industry including Indus Food, Global Exhibition on Services, International Engineering Sourcing Show and Textiles India.