Incentives Schemes under the FTP
CA Harikrishna Puranik
Recently the GoI has extended various cut off dates for claiming incentives such as SEIS/MEIS. This may be your chance to encash such benefit, adding to your arsenal in fighting the CoVid Crisis.
Govt Of India, in order to facilitate and encourage the industry towards achieving positive Current Account Deficit, and level the playing field for Indian Exporters to compete in the global Market, announces various schemes for exporters of good and services.
Major Schemes are:
1 Duty Exemption Schemes (such as AA and DFIA)
2 Duty Remission Schemes (Currently Duty Drawback scheme)
3 Incentive schemes such as MEIS/SEIS.
Though there are lot many articles about incentive schemes, they mainly concentrate at conventional schemes such as Drawbacks (DBK) and Advance Authorisation (AA). In the current article, we will try to explain in simple terms, the concept and procedure of benefitting from SEIS Schemes.
Central government notified a scheme called Service Exports from India Scheme (“SEIS”) under Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 (“FTP”). This scheme replaced its predecessor ‘Served From India Scheme (“SFIS”) under which the benefit was not available for foreign brand of the Indian companies. Exporters of the notified services will be awarded an incentive ranging from 3-7% of your Net Foreign Exchange Earning. These incentives are in the form of Duty Credit Scrips, which can be used for payment of import duties such as BCD. Don’t throw down the hat yet, saying we don’t have any imports, to use these duty scrips. The scrips are transferable and are usually purchased in the market at a marginal discount. So you can still pocket the remaining cash.
1. The Services fall under the broad classification as;
- Cross border trade of eligible services from one country’s to the other country.
- Consumption of eligible services abroad.
- Services rendered in the commercial presence of one country in the territory of another is not eligible.
- Presence of natural person of one country providing their service in the territory of another is also not eligible.
2. Types of Services Notified in Schedule under Appendix 3D;
|Sl. No.||Name of the Service||Percent of incentive|
|b.||Accounting, auditing and book-keeping services||7|
|f.||Integrated engineering services||7|
|g||Urban planning and landscape architectural services||7|
|h||Medical and dental services||7|
|j||Services provided by midwives, nurses, physiotherapists, and paramedical personnel||7|
|Research development services|
|a.||R&D services on natural sciences||7|
|b.||R&D services on social sciences and humanities||7|
|c.||Interdisciplinary R&D services||7|
|Rental/Leasing services without operators|
|a.||Relating to ships||7|
|b.||Relating to aircraft||7|
|C||Relating to other transport equipment||7|
|d.||Relating to other machinery and equipment||7|
|Other business services|
|b.||Market research and public opinion polling services||5|
|c.||Management consulting service||5|
|d.||Services related to management consulting||5|
|e.||Technical testing and analysis services||5|
|f.||Services incidental to agricultural, hunting and Forestry||5|
|g.||Services incidental to fishing||5|
|I.||Services incidental to manufacturing||5|
|J.||Services incidental to energy distribution||5|
|k.||Placement and supply services of personnel||5|
|l||Investigation and security||5|
|m.||Related scientific and technical consulting Services||5|
|n||Maintenance and repair of equipment (not 8861-8866 including maritime vessels, aircraft or other transport equipment)||5|
|o.||Building cleaning services||5|
|a.||Motion picture and video tape production and distribution service||7|
|b.||Motion picture projection service||7|
|c.||Radio and television services||7|
|d.||Radio and television transmission services||7|
|General construction work for building||7|
|General construction work for civil engineering||7|
|Installation and assembly work||7|
|Building completion and finishing work||7|
|Primary education services||7|
|Secondary education services||7|
|Higher education services||7|
|Refuse disposal services||7|
|Sanitation and similar services||7|
|7||TOURISM AND TRAVEL-RELATED SERVICES|
|A. Hotels and Restaurants (including catering)|
|b.||Restaurants (including catering)||5|
|B. Travel agencies and tour operators services||7|
|C. Tourist guides services||7|
|8||RECREATIONAL, CULTURAL AND SPORTING SERVICES (other than audio-visual services)|
|A||Entertainment services (including theatre, live bands and circus services)||7|
|B||News agency services||7|
|C||Libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural services||7|
|D||Sporting and other recreational services||7|
|A||Maritime Transport Services|
|a. Passenger transportation||7|
|b. Freight transportation||7|
|c. Rental of vessels with crew||7|
|d. Maintenance and repair of vessels||7|
|e. Pushing and towing services||7|
|f. Supporting services for maritime transport||7|
|B||B. Air transport services|
|a. Rental of aircraft with crew||7|
|b. Maintenance and repair of aircraft c. Airport operations and ground handling||7|
|C||C. Road Transport Services|
|a. Passenger transportation|
|b. Freight transportation||7|
|c. Rental of commercial vehicles with operator||7|
|d. Maintenance and repair of road transport equipment||7|
|e. Supporting services for road transport services||7|
|D||D. Services auxiliary to all modes of transport|
|a. Cargo handling services||7|
|b. Storage and warehouse services||7|
|c. Freight transport agency services||7|
i) Foreign exchange remittances other than those earned for rendering of notified services would not be counted for entitlement. Thus, other sources of foreign exchange earnings such as equity or debt participation, donations, receipts of repayment of loans etc. and any other inflow of foreign exchange, unrelated to rendering of service, would be ineligible.
ii) Following Foreign Exchange remittances shall not be considered for calculation of entitlement under this scheme:
I) Related to Financial Services Sector include
a) Raising of all types of foreign currency Loans,
b) Export proceeds realization of clients,
c) Issuance of Foreign Equity through ADRs/GDRs or other similar instruments,
d) Issuance of foreign currency Bonds,
e) Sale of securities and other financial instruments,
f) Other receivables not connected with services rendered by financial institutions
II) Earned through contract/regular employment abroad (e.g. labour remittances) would include
a) Payments for services received from EEFC Account,
b) Foreign exchange turnover by Healthcare Institutions like equity participation, donations etc.,
c) Foreign exchange turnover by Educational Institutions like equity participation, donations etc.,
d) Export turnover relating to services of units operating under EOU / EHTP / STPI / BTP Schemes or supplies of services made to such units,
e) Clubbing of turnover of services rendered by SEZ / EOU /EHTP / STPI / BTP units with turnover of DTA Service Providers
f) Exports of Goods
g) Foreign Exchange earnings for services provided by Airlines, Shipping lines service providers plying from any foreign country X to any foreign country Y routes not touching India at all
h) Service providers in Telecom Sector
4. Other Conditions
- Service provider must be located in India.
- Net Free Foreign Exchange Earning during the year must be higher than $15000($10000 in case of Sole Proprietorship)
- Must have a Valid IEC number.
- Incase of entities engaged in both manufacturing as well as service then the net foreign exchange earned by such entity shall be considered for services only (although you can claim MEIS on the goods exported)
- Earnings in INR is also considered as equalling FC where exports are made in INR.
- Earning via credit card is also eligible.
- You must posses a DSC registered with DGFT since the application should be submitted online.