INR 50,000 Cr. budget provision was kept for RoDTEP by Finance Minister.
RoDTEP Scheme (Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Products) announced on 14th Sep’19 by the Finance Minister is a progressive towards boosting exports and employment generation in various sectors in the country. It will replace the existing Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS). INR 50,000 Cr. budget provision was kept for RoDTEP by Finance Minister.
On 13th March, 2020, the Cabinet approved RoDTEP’s scheme. RoDTEP scheme is a WTO compliant, that will reimburse taxes/duties/levies at the central, state and local level, which are currently not being refunded. The sequence of introduction of the Scheme across sectors, prioritization of the sectors to be covered, degree of benefit to be given on various items within the rates set by the Committee will be decided and notified by the Department of Commerce.
However, the implementation of RoDTEP has not moved much since then. The industry is in dire need of some support to relieve it from the burden of high taxes and duties. For Example:
The Indian Aluminium industry is struggling to retain global competitiveness
- Huge burden of unrebated Central & State taxes and duties, constituting ~15% of Aluminium production cost which is amongst highest in the world. (~5000 Cr of taxes on Aluminium exports in FY19)
- While other countries support Aluminium industry through various incentives/ subsidies, cheaper power with long term tie-ups, preferential gas allocation, tax benefits, export incentives, low interest rate loans etc. for enhanced competitiveness.
- Indian exports are also suffering due to the measures taken by the USA, imposing 10% tariffs on Aluminium imports and granting exemption to Australia, Argentina, Canada and Mexico, which constitutes almost 50% of US Aluminium imports.
- Moreover, the USA’s withdrawal of GSP status (Generalized System of Preferences) for India has also hit the Indian Aluminium exports, which are now subjected to additional 2.6% to 6% MFN duties over and above the 10% tariffs imposed under section 232, while the same Aluminium product from Canada, Mexico, Argentina & Australia is imported in US at zero duty, and Middle Eastern countries like Oman, Bahrain etc. enjoy MFN duty exemption due to existing FTA with USA.
Indian Aluminium industry has submitted all the required data in prescribed formats to DGFT
- The Min of Commerce and Industry needs to take decisive steps for expediting formulation of RoDTEP Scheme on priority for priority sectors which have huge export potential e.g. Aluminium, Steel & Textile industry to boost exports with adequate remission of unrebated Central & State duties & taxes which constitutes around ~15% of Aluminium production cost.
- Without loosing time in paperwork the Govt should consider enhancing MEIS benefit (Merchandise Exports from India Scheme) from current 2% to 5% for all Aluminium products under Chapter-76 till RoDTEP Scheme is implemented.