The Commerce Ministry has taken several measures to address hardships faced by exporters due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“In order to give relief to businesses and affected individuals amidst the stress caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the department of commerce has introduced several relaxations and extensions in deadlines etc. with regard to compliances mandated under its schemes and activities,” a Commerce Ministry statement said.
The steps taken by the ministry included extensions of foreign trade policy by one year, export obligation under advance authorisation and export promotion capital goods scheme, the validity of registration cum membership certificate, lasts date for filing claims under services and goods export from India schemes, for filing RoSCTL (rebate o state and central taxes and levies) claims, valid period of all status holder certificates, and replenishment scheme for gems and jewellery.
The ministry also said that steps have been taken to facilitate units in Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
Further, the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation. (ECGC) too has extended the time for filing declarations, report of default, filing claims/replies, reduction in policy proposal processing fee, discretion to decide about shipments and claim eligibility period.
On April 11, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Sharad Kumar Sharaf had urged the government to immediately announce a relief package for exports as any further delay would be catastrophic.
He had asserted that above 15 million jobs might get lost in India’s export sector with half the orders getting cancelled and rising Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in exporting units.
”We are left with very less orders and if factories are not allowed to work with a minimum work force to execute them timely, many of them will suffer irreparable losses and bringing them to the brink of closure as they are saddled with fixed cost, which in any case has to be absorbed by them,” Saraf added.