The Office Memorandum issued by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry dtd. 27.07.2020, informed that since allocated funds at this stage for MEIS for FY2020-21 (up to December) stand at Rs 9,000 crore and any additional allocation has not been conveyed by the DoR (department of revenue), the online MEIS module has been blocked on July 23, from accepting new application for shipping bills with LEO dated April 1 onwards to limit the issuance of any more scrips. The said OM also conveyed that MEIS scrips worth Rs 422.4 crore have already been issued to exporters for shipping bills with the “let export order” (LEO) since April 1.

Shri Ronak Rughani, Chairman, SRTEPC said that the sudden blockage of the online module to apply for MEIS on 23rd July is a shock for the exporters and it is a discouraging message in these difficult times of COVID-19 pandemic. He informed that blockage and discontinuation of the incentives under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) would severely hit exports from the country which have already been bleeding because of COVID – 19 pandemic. He further stated that MEIS was designed by the Government under the FTP 2015-20 to provide relief to exporters to offset infrastructural inefficiencies and associated costs. Since currently infrastructural inefficiencies and associated costs have been multiplied due to lockdown, paralysed economic activities, labour shortage, etc. aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the incentives and support of the MEIS have been extremely important. Our exports are already facing fierce price competition globally against exports form China and if the MEIS is also stopped, then the Indian manufacturers & exporters will be completely thrown out. Hence, to cushion the exports, Government should not cap the MEIS benefits. It is urgent and crucial for the Government to restore the MEIS benefits till the RoDTEP is activated, Shri Ronak Rughani added.

With a positive note Shri Ronak Rughani informed that the Ministry of Textiles may been observing this issue and Hon’ble Textile Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani will certainly discuss the MEIS issue with the Hon’ble Finance Minister and Hon’ble Commerce Minister to protect the textile industry. Shri Ronak Rughani has also been positive to receive a favourable order from the Hon’ble Finance Minister on the request made by the Hon’ble Commerce Minister to reconsider the revenue department’s decision.

MEIS was introduced in the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) for the period 2015-2020. The MEIS was launched as an incentive scheme for the export of goods. MEIS replaced the various export incentive schemes which gave different types of duty credit scrips namely, Focus Market Scheme (FMS), Focus Product Scheme (FPS), Vishesh Krishi Gramin Udyog Yojana (VKGUY), Market Linked Focus Product Scheme (MLFPS) and Agri Infrastructure incentive scheme. All duty credit scrips issued under the earlier incentive schemes were transferred to the MEIS. The rewards are given by way of duty credit scrips to exporters. The MEIS is notified by the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) and implemented by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.