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Suresh Prabhu seeks higher sops to push farm, services exports
Oct 12, 2018

Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu has written to finance minister Arun Jaitley seeking higher export incentives to promote trade of agricultural products under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) as well as additional outlay for a scheme to boost services exports whose growth has slowed in the current fiscal. 
The ministry has sought extra outlay of Rs 1,500 crore under MEIS to fulfil the government’s commitment to double farmers’ income and promote exports of agricultural products. 
It wants the government to introduce a 10% incentive on rice exports, commensurate with rise in minimum support price to make the commodity competitive in global markets. For making customs duty payment, importers can use MEIS scrips, which are either received from government against exports as incentives or importers can purchase them from other exporters. The commerce department has also requested for the incentive on all oil meals to be hiked to 10% as currently it is allowed only on soymeals .. 
This is required in view of competitive disadvantages being faced by our exporters vis-avis exporters of competing countries having free/preferential trade agreements with these importing countries, as per the letter, which EThas seen. For the services sector, Prabhu has requested an enhancement in allocation to Rs 10,000 crore from the current allocation of Rs 2,640 crore to push its growth to double-digits in view of creeping protectionism globally and trade tensions among major economies like the US, China and the EU. Services exports grew 6.41% in 2016-17 and 18.81% in 2017-18. However, in the April-June quarter of the current fiscal, the growth has only been 4.9%.