number of critical areas which form the focus of the Department. These include: Foreign Trade
      Policy 2015-20 has been reviewed and toned up; MEIS incentives for two sub sectors of textiles
      i.e., ready made garments and made ups increased from 2 to 4 per cent involving additional
      annual incentives of ₹ 2,743 crore; to provide impetus to the services trade, the SEIS incentives
      have been increased by 2 per cent for notified services such as business, legal, accounting,
      architectural, engineering, educational, hospital, hotels and restaurants. The estimated additional
      annual incentive for the services sector will be ₹ 1,140 crore; the GST rate for transfer/sale of
      scrips has been reduced to zero from the earlier rate of 12 per cent; and new trust based self-
      ratification scheme introduced to allow duty free inputs for export production under duty
      exemption scheme with a self-declaration.
      Alignment with GST
            Issue of working capital blockage of the exporters due to upfront payment of GST on inputs
      has been addressed. Under advance authorization, Export Promotion for Capital Goods (EPCG)
      Scheme, 100 per cent Export Oriented Units (EOU’s), exporters have been extended the benefit
      of sourcing inputs/capital goods from abroad as well as domestic suppliers for exports without
      upfront payment of GST. Further an e wallet was launched from April 2018 to make these
      schemes operational. GST has ushered a new regulatory regime for India’s exports. It introduced
      many positive features for domestic firms as well as exporters. Firms now pay less number of
      taxes (one GST replaces 17 taxes), less amount of tax (average GST rate for industrial products
      is 18 per cent compared to the pre-GST tax burden of 25-28 per cent), and face less tax on tax
      incidences. The uniform GST rates across the states further reduce the tax burden and
      compliance cost. These changes reduce cost and improve competitiveness and hence would be
      beneficial for exports. GST treats exports as zero rated supply. This is in line with the WTO
      accepted principles. Initially, the GST law required that all duties must be paid at the time of
      sourcing of inputs for export production and refund for these to be obtained after the exports.
      However, the exporters apprehended blockage of working capital. On their request, the GST
      council decided to allow exemption from payment of GST on inputs sourced using the advance
      authorizations, EPCG and the 100 per cent EOU schemes.
      Government e-Market
            Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) created a dedicated e-market for
      different goods and services procured/sold by government/PSUs, a technology driven platform to
      facilitate procurement of goods and services by various ministries and agencies of the
      government. The portal was launched in 2016 and became fully functional by October, 2016.
      DGS&D was wound up in October, 2017. Government Marketplace (GeM) – a scalable system
      and being completely online, transparent, and system driven, makes procurement of goods and
      services, easy, efficient and fast. GeM covers entire procurement process chain, right from
      vendor registration, item selection by buyer, supply order generation, and receipt of
      goods/services by the consignees (s), to online payment to vendor. By 2018 more than 4.44 lakh
      products and services, about 71,700 sellers and service providers and more than 16,000 buyer
      organizations are part of GeM. More than 2.36 lakh orders, worth ₹ 4,000 crore have been
      processed through it.
      Trade Facilitation