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Raghuram Rajan on how to keep India running after April 14

The former RBI boss says what the country faces today is an economic emergency.


06 April, 2020, 02:00 PM IST



COVID-19: Government restricts export of diagnostic kits

Earlier, the exports of these products were allowed without any restrictions. Products under the restricted category mean that an exporter now requires a licence from the DGFT for outbound shipments.

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  • Under an advance license, duty-free imports are bound to certain export obligations. The government had restricted the exports of paracetamol and vitamins B1, B6 and B12, tinidazole, metronidazole, acyclovir, progesterone, chloramphenicol, erythromycin salts, neomycin, clindamycin salts and ornidazole amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

    FIEO has asked the government to declare the complete supply chain, including labour required for loading, transport of goods, courier services and port facilities, as essential service. Manufacturer-exporters have sought permission to start manufacturing and fabrication work after completion of the lockdown period.

    As per the notification, the validity of various import-linked export schemes such as Duty Free Import Authorisation (DFIA) and Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) have been extended by one year. Under EPCG, exporters can import certain amount of capital goods at zero duty for upgrading technology related with exports while DFIA allows them to import certain goods like sugar at zero duty.

    The commerce ministry on Thursday said it has set up a help desk to resolve export- and import-related issues arising due the coronavirus outbreak.

    Engineering exports for the April -January 2019-20 to the US aggregated to $9.87 billion, followed by UAE ($3.58 billion), Germany ($2.56 billion) and UK ($2.26 billion). Other major destinations are China ($1.85 billion ), Italy ($1.65 billion), Republic of Korea ($1.62 billion) and France ($1.13 billion).

    The exports of these products were free till now. DGFT had prohibited the export of all personal protection equipment including clothing and masks used in healthcare activities where there is a risk of contamination such as N-95 masks. However, surgical/ disposable masks, surgical blades, gas masks and disposable shoe covers were freely exportable.

    The fall in sugar production from Thailand to the tune of 5 million tons as compared to last year, and the recent decision of Indonesian Government to allow 600 ICUMSA sugar at a concessional import duty from India, Australia and Thailand, gives an additional opportunity to India to export large quantities of sugar to Indonesia.

    The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) on Sunday said it has cancelled the 49th edition of IHGF – Delhi Fair Spring-2020 in view of present status of COVID-19 in India and abroad. The fair, which was earlier to be held from April 15 – 19, was planned to be postponed to June or July.

    India has asked the countries, with which it has free trade agreements (FTAs), to allow imports of goods without certificate of origin for the time being as the domestic authorities are currently not issuing the document on account of lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.

    A Sakthivel said that he has approached the government to direct Indian embassies abroad to identify alternate sources of input suppliers. "We have advised our members to diversify their sourcing base given that the supply chain from China is disrupted," he said.

    The government is likely to extend the existing Foreign Trade Policy by six months to September 30 in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. A decision is expected in a couple of days, officials said.

    The European Union has eased rules for import of fresh fruit and vegetables from India. It has done away with the requirement for a physical certificate assuring food safety, and animal and plant health standards.

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