Daily Current affairs
On March 31, 2020, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced an extension of the Foreign Trade Policy, applicable for the period 2015-20, by one year, i.e, up to March 31, 2021.45 The extension was announced to provide continuity in the policy regime, given the current situation due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the key features of the Policy are:
All export promotion schemes, except the Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) will be available till March 31, 2021. The decision on continuation of SEIS will be notified later.
Exemption from payment of GST and compensation cess on certain imports will continue during this period.
Some immediate relief measures were also announced by the Ministry under the Policy to support trade and industry. These include:
automatic extension of six months in the validity period of certain import and export authorisations from the date of its expiry (applies to authorisations expiring between February 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020),
extension in the time allowed for filing various reports and returns under various provisions of the Foreign Trade Policy,
extension of the deadline for applying for duty credit schemes and authorisations, and
extension in the validity of letter of intent issued to export-oriented units including Biotechnology Parks and Software Technology Parks up to December 31, 2020.