Govt recovers Rs 852 cr under amnesty scheme for exporters

New Delhi, May 19 (PTI) The government has recovered about Rs 852 crore under the amnesty scheme for exporters for one-time settlement of default in export obligation by the holders of advance and EPCG authorisations, an official said.

The figures are likely to increase further as the exercise is on for the compilation of the data, the official added.

The government has fixed March 31 as the last date for payment of customs duty plus interest.

“Under the scheme, 6,705 applications were filed and as per the provisional figures, an amount of about Rs 852 crore has been recovered. This figure is further expected to increase,” the official said.

Meanwhile, several small exporters have requested the government to continue the scheme for a one-time settlement of default in export obligation till September.

Ludhiana-based Hand Tools Association President SC Ralhan has said several small exporters have not been able to avail of the benefits of the scheme due to fulfilling their obligations to make payments to MSMEs within 45 days.

In the new foreign trade policy (FTP), the scheme was announced for exporters for one-time settlement of default in export obligation by the holders of advance and EPCG (export promotion for capital goods) authorisations.

Under the scheme, all pending cases of the default in meeting export obligation (EO) of certain authorisations can be regularised by the authorisation holder on payment of all customs duties that were exempted in proportion to unfulfilled EO and interest at 100 per cent of such duties exempted.

India’s merchandise exports rose by 1 per cent to USD 34.99 billion in April, even as the trade deficit widened to a four-month high of USD 19.1 billion during the month, according to government data.

Imports also increased by 10.25 per cent to USD 54.09 billion in the month under review from USD 49.06 billion in April 2023 due to a significant jump in gold imports.

The country’s total exports in goods and services for 2023-24 stood at USD 778.21 billion, the “highest” so far. Merchandise exports in the last fiscal were aggregated at USD 437.1 billion, while services exports stood at USD 341.1 billion.

In line with the “Vivad se Vishwas” initiative, which sought to settle tax disputes amicably, the government has introduced the special one-time Amnesty Scheme under the FTP 2023 to address default on export obligations.

The scheme is intended to provide relief to exporters, who have been unable to meet their obligations under EPCG and Advance Authorisations, and who are burdened by high duty and interest costs associated with pending cases.

The objective of the EPCG scheme is to facilitate the import of capital goods to produce quality goods and services to enhance India’s export competitiveness. The scheme allows import of capital goods for pre-production, production and post-production at zero customs duty.

On the other hand, advance authorisation is issued to allow duty-free import of input, which is physically incorporated in export products.

However, exporters availing benefits under these schemes have to fulfil certain export obligations. Failure to fulfil the obligations attracts penal provisions.