Ronak Rughani, Chairman, SRTEPC said that the sudden blockage of the online module to apply for MEIS on July 23 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.
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.