Commerce Ministry blocks online MEIS module to stay within Budget

New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) In the absence of any further funds allocation by the Finance Ministry, the online module for the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS) for exporters has been blocked from last week by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

The Commerce Ministry confirmed to IANS that this has been done to stay within the Budget allocation.

The blocking of MEIS, due to lack of allocations beyond the sanctioned Rs 9,000 crore, will be a blow to exports and exporters, already reeling under the disruption in global trade due to Covid-19 and the weak economic sentiment.

The MEIS is meant to encourage exports and subsume part of the taxes in India. Now, the Commerce Ministry says that cap is at Rs 9,000 crore because the Department of Revenue under the Finance Ministry is not releasing more funds.

The Commerce Ministry has written to the Finance Ministry on the matter but since the route has now been blocked, it may require intervention of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal had written to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 21 asking her to ask the Revenue Department to review the decision on allocation for MEIS as the cap of Rs 9,000 crore for 2020-21 has been reached till December 2020.

Since the allocation for MEIS stands at Rs 9,000 crore for 2020-21 and any additional allocation has not been conveyed by the Revenue Department, the DGFT, under the

Commerce Ministry, has blocked the online MEIS module from July 23 from accepting new applications for shipping bills with Let Export Orders (LEO) dated April 1, 2020 onwards to limit issuance of any more scrips.

The DGFT has also asked the Revenue Department and the CBIC to take steps in this

situation and also ask Customs, ports and field formations to stop registration of MEIS scrips.



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