In a major relief to exporters, the Central government has decided to extend the Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) scheme to the year 2010. However, as per the agreement with World Trade Organization (WTO), it is mandatory to phase out the scheme by 2010 and announce a new scheme. Shri Dhansukhbhai Vora, President, Greater Rajkot chamber of commerce, said, The DEPB scheme was launched in the year 1997.
As per the agreement with World Trade Organization WTO, the DEPB scheme was considered to be an incentive and there was pressure to withdraw it. Even the Centre had planned to bring an end to the scheme, but in the absence of consensusover the new scheme, it was decided to continue the scheme till 2010 with effect from April 1, 2007.
Vora also added that the DEPB is linked with custom duty. However, there is no change in the cap value and as a result the extension of the scheme has not impressed many exporters. According to exporters, while the custom duty is being reduced, the production cost is surging due to higher input cost.
Despite this, the cap value has not been increased, it means that if the custom duty is further reduced in next three years, the scheme would be an attractive one.