The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) has said that it expected the duty benefit rates for handicraft exports between 5-7% under the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme, similar to the incentives they received in the erstwhile Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS).
The remission rates for handicrafts in RoDTEP are in the 0.01-2.4% range.
The scheme was notified for 8,555 products including employment-generating marine, agriculture, leather, and gems and jewellery sectors in August and aims to refund exporters duties and taxes such as VAT on fuel used in transportation, Mandi tax and duty on electricity used during manufacturing, that were so far not being refunded.
“The RoDTEP rates, which were keenly awaited were not as per the expectation of the handicrafts exporters as the sector was expecting comparable rates (5-7%) with MEIS scheme, the rates offered are in the range of 0.01% to 2.4% for the handicrafts sector,” said Raj Kumar Malhotra, chairman, EPCH said, adding that the council has already represented to the government to increase the rates.
Malhotra said that a Memorandum Day is being organized September 1 across various crafts clusters of the country to collectively put forward a representation for enhancing the RoDTEP rates for the handicrafts sector wherein the handicrafts exporters at various clusters will submit a Memorandum to their Member of Parliament from the region, Mayor and District Magistrate to forward their demand to the centre.
As per Rakesh Kumar, EPCH director general, the sector registered a marginal growth of 1.62% in exports at Rs 25,679 crore in the pandemic-hit 2020-21.