From the Desk of Chairman

Aqeel_Ahmed

Chairman Column

Dear Member

 

Pre-budget and Foreign Trade Policy Review Consultation Meetings

During this month, I had the opportunity to present the issues concerning leather industry to Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Union Minister of Finance in the pre-budget consultation meeting held in New Delhi on December 17, 2019 and to Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways in the review meeting on Foreign Trade Policy held in New Delhi on December 19, 2019.

I would like to thank the Hon’ble Ministers for eliciting the opinion of industry stake holders for Union Budget 2020-21 and for review of Foreign Trade Policy. During these meetings, I had highlighted the positive balance of trade being facilitated by the leather, leather products and footwear sector and also the fact that despite downturn in exports in value terms, exports have increased in terms of quantity and additional employment opportunities have been created for thousands of people in the industry in recent years.

Immediately after the FTP review meeting, the State Bank of India has withdrawn the charges for issue of e-BRC. Besides, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade has also asked data on exporters included in the Risky Exporter profile and on the details of exporters where Export Obligation (EO) has remained unfulfilled after expiry of EO period against EPCG authorizations. I hope that the various procedural issues raised in the FTP review meeting will be sorted out soon.

Details of issues raised in these meetings have been featured in this edition.

We are eagerly awaiting positive consideration of the Government on various duty/policy related issues raised by me in the pre-budget and FTP consultation meetings.

Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS)

I thank Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Union Minister of Finance and Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways for extending the additional 2% scrip under MEIS upto 31.12.2019. I shall be grateful if the MEIS scheme  with these additional 2% scrip could be extended till March 2020 , as this will give enough time to the exporters in fixing their pricing. CLE is already collecting data for the proposed Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Product (RoDTEP) Scheme. We will analyse this data and submit suitable representation to the Government.

Meeting with Drawback Committee

I am thankful to the Drawback Committee headed by Shri G.K.Pillai, former Secretary, Government of India, for providing us an opportunity to present our requests concerning revision of All Industry Rates of Duty Drawback in two meetings held in New Delhi on January 12 & 16, 2019. Besides increase in Drawback rates, we have also requested for removal of cap values for finished leather, leather products and footwear so as to compensate actual duty incidence and promote export of value added products.

With best wishes

P.R. Aqeel Ahmed
Chairman
COUNCIL FOR LEATHER EXPORTS