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Friday,25-September-2020

Business

Export benefits need to seamlessly flow to exporters to help execution of new orders: FIEO

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FIEO

Indian export sector is looking up after months of fall and severe slide in wake of Covid-19 related disruptions.

According to exporters body FIEO, Indian exporters have started receiving a lot of enquiries and orders from across the globe helping many sectors to show improved export performance, which is likely to get better in next few months.

But, FIEO wants government to continue incentivising exports in these difficult period through continuation of schemes such as MEIS that provides requisite liquidity to exporters.

“At this point of time when exporters are receiving new orders from new buyers and destinations, support needs to be given to help them to execute such orders. Unfortunately, many of the exporters have expressed their inability to honour such orders, in view of liquidity challenges, due to stoppage of exports benefits and refund of GST,” S K Saraf, President, FIEO said.

Exporters, particularly from MSME sector, are facing huge liquidity challenges due to the stoppage of MEIS benefits of over Rs 10,000 Crore from April, 2020 and IGST refund now.

Saraf has urged the Government to look into the issue as any letup in export efforts, at this juncture, will cost the country dearly while successful execution of these orders will bring additional export business from new and unexplored territories.

All wings of the Government should sit together, opined Saraf, to resolve the technical and financial issues, helping the seamless flow of liquidity to exports sector.

President, FIEO also said that banks are helping eligible exporters with the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme but due to hold up of GST refund and MEIS, the exporters are forced to seek additional loans from banks and such additional requirement is now subject to very high interest rates.

“Banks need to consider this pragmatically and provide a competitive interest rate to the exports sector particularly as the deposit rates have come down substantially with the reduction in key interest rate. Government needs to pay interest on the delay in refunding GST to compensate the exporters,” the FIEO president said.

FIEO also urged the Government to address the issue of Risky Exporters by providing them duty drawback and IGST benefits against a bond, if physical verification of such exporters has been established. The SOP issued for risky exporters may be meticulously followed so that after due verification, exporters are taken out from the category immediately.

Saraf exuded confidence that export performance is improving and with due support from all the stakeholders, we can bring exports back on track by the end of the year.

Business

Flipkart Wholesale expands footprint to 12 new cities

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Flipkart

Digital business-to-business marketplace Flipkart Wholesale on Thursday said it has expanded its operations to 12 new cities ahead of the festive season.

Flipkart Wholesale will now be operational in Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Mysuru, Chandigarh Tricity, Meerut, Agra, Jaipur, Thane-Bhiwandi-Ulhasnagar, Greater Mumbai, Vasai-Virar-Mira-Bhayanadar, Thane (Kalyan-Dombivli) and Thane (Navi Mumbai).

Expanding with the fashion category in these cities, Flipkart Wholesale said it is looking to digitally transform kiranas and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to help them grow faster, retain their customers, and improve their profitability.

“As we enter the festive season, we are excited to be scaling up our offerings across 12 cities, aiming to create more opportunities for MSMEs and Kiranas,” Adarsh Menon, Senior Vice President and Head – Flipkart Wholesale, said in a statement.

“From trendy Jaipuri Kurtis to evergreen Mysuru silk saris, we aim to help small businesses embrace the digital transformation and emerge as more robust businesses,” Menon added.

By this year-end, Flipkart Wholesale also plans to expand into categories such as home and kitchen, and grocery.

Flipkart Wholesale said its customers will have access to easy credit facilities in partnership with leading banks and non-banking financial companies to manage cash flow.

E-commerce platform Flipkart first announced the launch of Flipkart Wholesale’s operations earlier this month.

At the time of the launch, the platform was available for fashion retailers, especially footwear and apparel, in Gurugram, Delhi and Bengaluru.

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Business

Nepal-China border point reopens after 3-week closure

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Nepal’s Chinese conundrum: The imbalance and debt trap.

The Rasuwagadhi-Kerung border point between Nepal and China reopened on Thursday after it remained closed for around three weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a senior customs official said here.

The border point, which is one of the key trade routes between the two country, was closed after a Nepali worker tested positive for the novel coronavirus, reports Xinhua news agency.

Earlier, it reopened in early July after it was closed for nearly six months firstly due to snowfall in the bordering Chinese region and later because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Two containers of medical goods entered into Nepal after the reopening of border point on Wednesday,” senior customs officer at Rasuwagadhi, Punya Bikram Khadka told Xinhua.

“Now, we hope the movement of goods will take place normally.”

According to the officer, there has been a restricted flow of goods through this border as both countries have adopted zero human-to-human contact policy between the two sides until the pandemic is over.

The Tatopani-Zhangmu, another border point, which reopened in late March after closing in January, has also remained shut for the last few months.

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Business

Imports fall leads to New Zealand’s largest trade surplus in 6 yrs

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Trade

New Zealand imports fell nearly NZ$1 billion ($650 million) in August, leading to the country’s largest annual trade surplus since 2014, the Stats NZ said on Thursday.

The NZ$1.3 billion annual goods trade surplus reflected a rise in exports and a fall in imports over the past months, Xinhua news agency quoted Stats NZ as saying.

“The recent falls in imports and growth in exports resulted in an annual trade surplus not seen since the strong 2013-2014 dairy export season, when product prices were high,” senior analyst Nicholas Cox said in a statement.

Imports of crude oil, cars, and other vehicles were much lower than usual in recent months after the Covid-19 pandemic, Cox said.

New Zealand’s demand for fuel dropped due to the international and domestic travel restrictions, which were put in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

During the lockdown in April, imports of vehicles were particularly affected by international trade restrictions and the closure of vehicle dealerships as non-essential businesses, he added.

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