The government on Thursday extended fiscal incentives to more items such as marine products at higher rates under a scheme with a view to boosting exports, which remain in the negative zone. The total support extended by the government under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) has been enhanced to Rs 23,500 crore per annum from the present Rs 22,000 crore, the commerce and industry ministry said in a statement.
“Against the backdrop of the continued challenging global environment being faced by Indian exporters, the department of commerce has extended support to certain new products and enhanced the rate of incentives for certain other specified products under MEIS,” it said.
It said 2,901 additional products falling under different categories have been added under this scheme. The items include traditional medicines like Ashwagandha herbs, certain marine products, sea feed items, onion dried, industrial products such as engineering goods, fabrics, garments, chemicals, ceramics, glass products, newspapers, periodicals, silk items, tubes, pipes and the like.
It also said rates of 575 items falling under 11 categories have been increased and those include products of iron and steel, handicraft, rubber, glass, auto tyres and tubes and industrial machinery.
“With this, the total number of items covered under the scheme has been increased to 7,103 from 5,012,” it added. Exports were in the negative zone between December 2014 and May 2016 due to weak global demand and slide in oil prices. Shipments witnessed growth only in June this year and then again fell in July.
Contracting for the second month in a row, India’s exports in August dipped 0.3 per cent to USD 21.51 billion owing to decline in shipments of products like petroleum and leather.