Government unveils new trade policy

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma

Highlights:

Following are the highlights of the supplementary annual Foreign Trade Policy:

* Government aiming 20% export growth in 2012-13

*2% interest subsidy scheme extended till March 2013

* 0% duty EPCG scheme for technology upgradation extended till March'13

* Incentives for exports from north-eastern states

* Shipments from Delhi, Mumbai through post, courier or e-commerce to get export benefits

* Single revolving bank guarantee for different export deals

* Seven new markets added to Focus Market Scheme

* Market linked focus product scheme extended till March'13 for apparel export to USA and EU

* Ahmedabad, Kolhapur and Shaharanpur new Towns of Export Excellence

* Govt to come out with new guidelines to promote SEZs

* Focus on market diversification to continue

* Steps announced to reduce transaction cost of exports

* Foreign Trade Policy document made more user friendly

* 13 shows abroad to promote Brand India

Trade Policy gives incentives to exporters from North East

With an aim to promote exports from the North Eastern states, the Centre today reduced compliance burden to one-fourth for exporters to avail the popular EPCG scheme to import capital goods at very low customs duty.

"We have taken a decision to reduce the export obligation under the EPCG scheme to 25 per cent of the normal export obligation and this facility will be applicable to North Eastern states and Sikkim," Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said, while releasing the annual supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy.

This, he said, is being done to promote "manufacturing activity and generating employment in the North Eastern states".

Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) is an export promotion scheme under which an exporter can import certain amount of capital goods at either zero or three per cent customs duty, for upgrading technology related with exports.

However, to avail the scheme, the exporter has to meet a pre-determined export obligation over a certain period.

... contd.

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