Shri Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Textiles, on 31st March, 2023, unveiled the Foreign Trade Policy 2023-28 claiming that it is flexible and open-ended to meet the current state of affairs. He said that the policy had been under consideration for a considerable amount of time and had been developed following several stakeholder engagements. According to him, India's total exports, which include both services and goods, have already surpassed US$ 750 billion and are projected to reach US$ 760 billion this year.
The four pillars that form the foundation of the policy's Key Approach are (i) Incentive to Remission, (ii) Export Promotion via Collaboration - Exporters, States, Districts, and Indian Missions, (iii) Ease of Doing Business, Reduction in Transaction Cost, and E-Initiatives, and (iv) Emerging Areas - E-Commerce. enhancing SCOMET (Special Chemicals, Organism, Materials, Equipment and Technologies) policy and creating districts as export hubs.
The FTP 2023 intends to automate and reengineer processes to make it easier for exporters to conduct business. Additionally, it emphasizes developing sectors like SCOMET's dual-use high-end technological products, simplifying e-commerce export, and working with States and Districts to promote exports. To close the previous pending authorizations and start again, the new FTP (Foreign Trade Policy) is offering a one-time amnesty scheme for exporters.
MSMEs will receive a variety of incentives and supports under the FTP 2023 to improve their exports. The decrease in exporters' compliance costs is one of the main advantages. The strategy would streamline export processes and shorten clearance times, allowing MSMEs to save costs and increase their competitiveness. The policy's inclusion of the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) program for small exporters is a key advantage. Exporters will receive credit insurance under the program, allowing them to obtain finance at more affordable rates. This would assist MSMEs in overcoming one of their biggest exporting obstacles, a lack of capital availability.
The FTP 2023 has included provisions for merchanting commerce in an effort to turn India into a center of merchanting trade. It would now be permitted to trade in restricted and forbidden goods in accordance with export regulations. With the help of an Indian middleman, items are transported from one foreign country to another without ever entering Indian ports. This is subject to following RBI (Reserve Bank of India) regulations and does not apply to products or commodities that are on the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) or SCOMET (Special Chemicals, Organism, Materials, Equipment and Technologies) list.
Last but not least, the government is steadfastly dedicated to eliminating litigation and encouraging partnerships built on trust to assist exporters overcome their problems. According to the "Vivaad se Vishwaas" policy, which aimed to resolve tax issues peacefully, the government is proposing a unique one-time Amnesty Scheme under the FTP 2023 to address default on Export Obligations.
Highlights of Foreign Trade Policy 2023: