Everything You Need to Know About Export Incentives In India

Everything You Need to Know About Export Incentives In India

The success of a country’s economy largely depends on its imports and exports. India is home to thousands of exporters and sellers who sell their products across various international markets on their own or via popular ecommerce export platforms. Indian products are known for their superior quality and authenticity, so the Indian export market is growing rapidly. The government of India keeps introducing various schemes and initiatives to empower the export industry and exporters. It also offers various incentives such as the RoDTEP scheme, Service Exports from India Scheme(SEIS), and Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) Scheme that help export businesses and encourage them to grow more and contribute to the strengthening of the export industry in India. 

The government offers various monetary and non-monetary incentives to exporters that help them establish their strong presence across various international markets. This article tells you how incentives for exports work, who carries them out, the common export incentives offered by the government and how they benefit the exporters.   

What are incentives for exports? 

Export incentives are specific benefits the government provides to export companies to recognize and celebrate their contribution to the country’s foreign exchange reserves. It also compensates for their expenses when exporting goods and services abroad. Export incentives can be given in the followings forms: 

  • Subsidies to reduce export costs 
  • Tax exemptions like duty exemptions and duty remissions  
  • Options to receive credit, including low-cost loans 
  • Financial safeguards, like provisions for bad loans 

Export incentives are aligned with the “Make in India” and “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (Self-sufficient India) programmes, which are the government’s two main initiatives to empower Indian businesses. The former initiative supports self-sufficiency, while the latter promotes turning India into a massive industrial hub. The international trade strategy, which is a system of rules and tactics for importing and exporting commodities and services, emphasises these incentives.  

How are export incentives implemented? 

Various government departments and committees look after the implementation of export incentives for the businesses that come under their jurisdiction. The Directorate General of International Trade (DGFT), a Ministry of Commerce and Industry division, develops and implements India’s foreign trade policy, including many of the export incentives it highlights. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs sets policies for the enforcement and collection of customs tax, central excise duties, and the Goods and Services Tax, which is another option. The Directorate General of Export Promotion (DGEP), one of its divisions, handles refund issues arising from export, looks into policy concerns linked to export promotion schemes, and makes adjustments and improvements to customs-related regulations and processes. The Reserve Bank of India also offers some financial incentives to businesses.  

As foreign trade involves various countries, the local governments in these countries can raise concern over the incentives offered to exporters. Export incentives offered by one nation may be viewed as unfair trade practices by another. The World Trade Organization(WTO) arbitrates disputes between nations over the extent of governmental participation in international trade. The WTO generally discourages and even forbids the countries from offering government incentives, except those used by least-developed nations. 

Why are export incentives crucial for export? 

Exports have a tremendous influence on a nation’s economic development. The greater the exports, the more companies and job possibilities, the smaller the current account deficit, and thus the better the overall financial growth of a country. To encourage exporters to market their goods and services more widely abroad and generate remittances in foreign currencies, the Indian government supports export business and offers export incentives in India. Here are some more ways export incentives can help export businesses and the government.  

  • Export businesses generate foreign currency. Countries need foreign exchange reserves to facilitate international trade, pay for imports, repay foreign debts, and protect against economic collapse, currency devaluation, and other similar events. Therefore supporting the export businesses through incentives can help the government to increase the foreign exchange reserve.  
  • The incentives help businesses to grow by hiring more people and creating more employment.  
  • Incentives help skilled and experienced urban workers in India to increase their earnings.  
  • When a country imports more goods than it exports, it creates a current account deficit. A government can substantially reduce this deficit by increasing exports by strengthening export businesses through incentives.   
  • The increased export reduces the dependence on imports, promoting a country’s financial independence. 

All these points indicate that export incentives benefit the export businesses by safeguarding themselves from financial uncertainties, creating more jobs, helping skilled workers and increasing the export figures. By supporting the export businesses through incentives, the government can reduce the current account deficit, reduce imports and increase its foreign currency reserves.  

What is the RoDTEP scheme? 

Tax payments can be a big headache for exporters and take a big chunk of their payday. Therefore reducing the tax levied on export businesses can help them improve their bottom line and expand their export business, which allows the government to support the export industry. The RoDTEP (Remission of Duty or Taxes on Export Products) pays exporters back for embedded federal, state, and municipal taxes and levies that weren’t previously refunded. These refunded taxes substantially increase the final profits, which are often razor-thin for exporters. All the tax refunds are credited to an exporter’s customs ledger account, which can be transferred to pay off other importers or used to cover import customs duties which is a big relief for exporters. Exporters must indicate in the shipping bill if they want to take advantage of the rebate. The WTO ruled out the Merchandise Exports India Scheme (MEIS) as it violated its export subsidy regulations and was replaced by the new scheme on January 1, 2021. Here are some of the taxes and duties exempted from the RoDTEP scheme.: 

  • Mandi tax which is levied on the purchase and sale of farm produce and is charged by Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs)  
  • Coal cess  
  • Central and state taxes on fuel utilized for transporting export products 
  • State electricity duty on manufacturing plants of export products 
  • Toll tax 
  • Stamp duty on import-export legal paperwork 

The participant countries in WTO may not support offering export incentives mainly because it strengthens a particular country’s export. But the Indian government took active steps to boost Indian exporters and offered them an opportunity to enhance their operations and recognize their massive contribution to the country’s foreign exchange and export industry.   

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