Duty Entitlement Pass Book scheme extended till further orders
April, 01st 2008
Annual supplement to foreign trade policy on April 11
DEPB rates announced from April 1, 2007 and subsequent amendments made should continue for all exports under the scheme even after March 31.
The scheme came under the WTO scanner as it was deemed WTO-incompatible.
Exporters welcome the Ministrys move to extend the scheme.
The uncertainty hovering around the continuation of the popular export promotion scheme, Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) scheme was ended today with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) stating that the scheme, which was valid for shipments up to March 31, 2008, has been extended till further orders.
A statement issued by the DGFT said that this would facilitate shipments to be allowed under the Scheme by the field formations of Customs even beyond March 31. It was further clarified that the DEPB rates announced effective from April 1, 2007 and subsequent amendments made in them should continue for all exports under DEPB scheme even after March 31.
The DEPB scheme provides reimbursement of customs duty and allows manufacturer-exporters to use partly or fully domestic inputs and the scheme refunds the customs duty as if the domestic inputs had been imported. It thus promotes the use of domestically produced/sourced inputs in the production of exported products.
However, it came under the WTO scanner and was deemed WTO-incompatible because the scheme does not require imports to be made of the inputs used in the production process. Besides, the fact that the duty credit is freely transferable disconnects altogether eventual imports against which it is used from the actual inputs used in the production process of the exported product.
When contacted the FIEO President, Mr Ganesh Kumar Gupta, said that he welcomes the step of the Commerce Ministry as exporters could ship their products without any hassle now. He said that at a time when the exporters business calculations were buffeted by rising transaction cost and appreciating rupee, the exporters were seeking the extension of DEPB as the only mitigating step.
Trade policy supplement
Meanwhile, the annual supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) scheduled for April 7 has been further put off to April 11 as India is hosting the Africa Summit beginning on April 7 in which the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is proactively involved, besides the External Affairs Ministry and the Prime Ministers Office, an official source said here.