By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Centre’s Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) will continue till March 31 this year, when the new Foreign Trade Policy comes into effect on April 1.

The government had decided to discontinue MEIS after the World Trade Organisation (WTO) raised an objection against the scheme, saying it distorted trade by providing direct subsidies. In November 2019, WTO ruled against India in its trade dispute with the US, and asked the country to stop all export promotion schemes within four months.

Some confusion followed, and reports said the MEIS benefits will be stopped from January 1, 2020.
“MEIS continues till March 31, 2020, as per the Free Trade Policy 2015-2020, which is valid till that date. However, the additional MEIS benefit of 2 per cent given on some products was only for shipment with Let Export Order date up to December 31, 2019. However, such products will continue to be entitled for normal MEIS benefits applicable to them prior to the public notices (as detailed in Public Notice No.47 dated December 7, 2019) up to March 31, 2020,” said FIEO president Sharad Kumar Saraf.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced in September a new scheme named Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) to replace MEIS for all goods exports. Government officials said RoDTEP would also be based on MEIS and is estimated to cost Rs 50,000 crore in tax rebates, but the rates are yet to be decided. MEIS incentivises merchandise exports of more than 8,000 items.