Indian Industry seeks 10-point boost plan from govt for the exporters effected by coronavirus

Indian Industry has come up with a 10 point export boost plan for the beleaguered sector amid the lockdown effected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The plan drawn up by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) covers everything from extending the 5% interest subvention scheme to all exporters to one-time extensions of customs duty payments and filing bill of entry.

“The short-term impact on exports has started showing up with exporters facing liquidity crunch as customer’s payments are not coming through and shipments of ready goods are not able to leave the factory or lying at the port because of lock-down situation globally,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of CII.

At the top of the list, exporters suggest that consignments which are ready for shipment should be allowed to be transported from the manufacturer’s factory or warehouse to the customs facility.

The lockdown has resulted in transportation delays leading to various costs and charges piling up for manufacturers, exporters and importers.

With regard to the customs duty payments, they have asked that deferment should be extended from March to June to ease financial pressures.

To address liquidity issues, the plan suggested expediting GST refunds and extending the moratorium on loan, interest payments, utility payments and declaration of NPAs by banks by at least six months.

The sector also seeks the waiver of shipping line demurrage and container freight station charges as the import container clearance time has gone up due to the lockdown.

Demurrage is a charge payable to the owner of a chartered ship on failure to load or discharge the ship within the time agreed.

To ease the congestion resulting from compliance norms, the CII has suggested all bills of entries should be processed based on self-declaration of the importer. In case of any deficiencies, the importer’s undertaking should be accepted and cargo be released.

A bill of entry is a declaration by an importer or exporter of the exact nature, precise quantity and value of goods that have landed or are being shipped out.

For easy access to credit, the plan suggested packing credit be increased by at least 25% for exporters and the threshold for returning export packing credit be increased from 180 days to 360 days.

It also asked banks to consider sanctioning and releasing at least 20% of contract value as special cash credit funding to companies executing export contracts.

The CII also recommended all export benefits as per the current Foreign Trade Policy should be continued until June 30 or the announcement of new policy.

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