The government today raised duty refund rates on a host of items, including iron, steel, garments and marine products with a view to promoting exports which are on a decline for the past 11 months. The central government has notified the Schedule of revised All Industry Rates of Duty Drawback effective from November 23, 2015, the Finance Ministry said. Duty drawback is refund of duties on imported inputs for export items.
The Finance Ministry further said that to "expeditiously address exporters' concerns", if any, arising from the new Schedule of Rates, "feedback from Export Promotion Councils shall be taken into account" by an Expert Committee that will make further recommendations in January 2016 to the Government. "These revised rates are based on average incidence of Customs and Central Excise Duties and Service Tax related with the manufacture of export goods and involve substantial total drawback for exporters," the Ministry said. Apart from the rate changes, many new items have been included to "better differentiate" export products with higher duty incidence and also to address classification issues.
For the first time brand rate route has been extended to wheat export. Also, "a provision has been made to pay provisional drawback to exporters soon after export in case of certain exports made under claim for brand rate of duty drawback," the Ministry added. As per the new schedule, iron and steel, tools and parts of base metal, machinery and appliances, electrical machinery, rolling stock and ships "have been provided with increased customs rate of 2 per cent", with certain exceptions.
Further, the composite rates have been increased in many cases like frozen shrimps and prawns; perfumed agarbatti; finished/lining leather, leather hand bags, wallet, belts; industrial gloves; certain MMF yarn/ fabric; readymade garment made of cotton, wool and cotton with lycra; made-ups of cotton/ MMF and hand tools, among others. Also, certain products earlier having only customs rates, have been provided with composite rates. These include bicycle tyres, bicycle tubes, woven fabrics of other vegetable textile fibres/woven fabrics of paper yarn, headgear, umbrellas, walking sticks, artificial flowers and acrylic blankets.
As per the revised rates, AIR (All India Rates) has been fixed as Rs 209.3/gm for gold jewellery/parts and Rs 2790/kg for silver jewellery /articles. Commenting on the new drawback rates, exports body FIEO said the government's move will support the declining export. Exports are on decline since December last year mainly due to global demand slowdown and slump in commodity prices.