To formulate the strategies for enhancing export in each sector which comes under the Ministry of Textiles and to resolve the problems and challenges faced by the Handicrafts Sector, Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Union Minister of Finance and Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Hon’ble Union Minister of Textiles called a meeting with the heads of Export Promotion Councils on 27th May, 2018 at New Delhi. Shri O.P. Prahladka, Chairman- EPCH gave an overview of the sector and also placed before the Hon’ble Ministers strategies being adopted by the EPCH for export growth. The major suggestions placed by the Chairman included:
- Enhancement of list of essential embellishment, trimmings, tools and consumables to be imported duty free and Exemption from payment of IGST on import of such items
- Inclusion of ‘Merchant Exporters’ in the list of exporters eligible for benefit of ‘interest equalization scheme’ (previously known as “interest subvention scheme”)
- Issuance of eBRC in case of Exports of Handicrafts to Iran
- If Issuance of eBRC is not done by the bank within stipulated time, banks to pay penalty to the exporters.
- Scheme of ‘ Rebate of State Levies’ (ROSL) on Exports of Handicrafts
- Engagement of Foreign Designers in the handicrafts sector to be made easy, cap to be reduced.
- Enhance Allocation of funds under Market Access Initiative (MAI) and relaxation in Operational Guidelines for Funding Under the MAI Scheme to include Markets of USA, Canada, EU, Japan, China and other developed markets for extending invitation to buyers to RBSM’s organized in India
- Blocking of Working Capital – Refund of ITC/ GST
Shri O.P Prahladka informed that both the Union Ministers gave a patient hearing to the issues raised by him and assured all possible cooperation towards resolution of all the issues, which are hampering the exports of handicrafts from the Country. He further said, the meeting could be considered unprecedented as it was called on Sunday and reflects the sense of urgency on the part of the Government to kick-start the process of resolution of issues of the various sectors and embarks upon the path of exports growth.
The Handicrafts exports during the year 2017-18 was Rs. 22.916.03 crores registering a decline of 6.05% in comparison to last year.