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'Dubai-like' mega shopping festivals to boost exports: Nirmala Sitharaman

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New Delhi, Sep 14: India will soon start organising annual mega shopping festivals that will facilitate exchange between global producers and consumers, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while on Saturday.

Niramala Sitharaman

Mega shopping festival will be held across the country in four destinations, by March 2020. It is greater push for people to make contacts and connections.

The finance minister announced a new scheme Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Product (RoDTEP) to incentivise exporters at an estimated cost of Rs 50,000 crore to the exchequer.

The announcement comes in the backdrop of India's merchandise exports declining by 6.05 per cent to USD 26.13 billion in August compared to the year-ago month. The minister also said there will be a fully automated electronic refund route for input tax credits (ITC) in GST.

    Nirmala Sitharamans roadmap to nurse ailing economy back to health

    This will be implemented by the month-end. The move, she added, is aimed at quick and automated refunds of ITC. She said RoDTEP will replace the existing incentive schemes and "will more than adequately incentivise exporters than the existing schemes put together".

    The minister said the revenue foregone towards the scheme is projected at Rs 50,000 crore.

    New measures to boost exports:

    Extend the scheme of reimbursement of taxes and duties for export promotion. The Scheme for Remission of Duties or taxes on the export product will replace MEiS. Both will continue till December 2019. Starting January 1, 2020, MEiS will cease to exist.

    India's rank in World Bank 'Ease of doing business' ranking improved from 142 in 2014 to 77 in 2018, with the sub-rank in 'Trading across borders' moving up from 122 to 80.

    Comprehensive "Agriculture Export Policy" launched on December 6, 2018 with an aim to double farmers' income by 2022.

    "Transport and Marketing Assistance" (TMA) scheme launched in March 5, 2019, for mitigating disadvantage of higher cost of transportation for export of specified agriculture products.

    Scheme for Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) covering the export of garments and made-ups notified on March 7, 2019, providing a refund of duties/taxes at higher rates.

    Fully automated electronic refund route for input tax credits (ITC) in GST. Fully electronic refund module for quick and automated refund for ITC nearing completion and will be implemented by September end 2019.

    Rs 50,000 cr revenue will be foregone with introduction of remission of duties or taxes on export products.

    Rs 36,000 cr to Rs 68,000 cr of credit will be available for exports after priority sector lending tag.

    Incentives and Taxation

    Extend the scheme of reimbursement of taxes and duties for export promotion.

    Fully automated electronic refund route for input tax credits (ITC) in GST.

    Handicrafts industry

    Government moves to enable handicrafts industry to effectively harness e-commerce for exports announces mass enrolment of artisans across India for handicraft promotion.

    On August 23, in her first presser, Sitharaman announced steps like the rollback of surcharge on foreign portfolio investors, an upfront release of Rs 70,000 crore to public sector banks, measures to revive the auto slowdown, among others.

    In her August 30 presser, the FM announced a mega consolidation plan for public sector banks, merging 10 PSBs into four financially sound bigger banks.

    The economic growth hit a six-year low of 5 per cent for the first quarter of the current fiscal and the government has announced a slew of measures to reinvigorate the sagging growth.

    There have been demands pouring in from various sectors from biscuits to automobiles and FMCG to hotels to reduce tax rates in the wake of a perceived economic slowdown.

    In recent weeks, the government has announced a slew of economic measures including the mega bank mergers, withdrawal of higher surcharge on Foreign portfolio investments (FPIs) and domestic investors, sops for infrastructure, revival package for the auto industry and relief for startups.

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