Alterations that can benefit the retail industry in any way are always welcomed. The new amendment in the Foreign Trade Policy will surely bring a lot to the online business.
In the Annual Supplement of FTP, Anand Sharma, Minister for Commerce, Industries and Textiles unveiled that export shipments from Delhi and Mumbai through Post, Courier or e-Commerce shall be entitled for export benefits under FTP. However, exact details of these benefits or the percentage to the tune of which these will be offered have not been laid down as yet.
Also an Inter-Ministerial Task Force constituted by the Ministry of Finance would expeditiously look into various aspects to the feasibility of enabling shipments through all postal locations. Exporters will be henceforth permitted to give single revolving Bank Guarantee for different transactions.
The industry is upbeat about this announcement and is welcoming it with open arms. Muralikrishnan B, Country Manager, eBay India, welcomes the Foreign Trade Policy simplification capturing the intent on e-commerce, “The government’s move to consider exports through e-commerce under the supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) will benefit millions of retail exporters in the country. The move will allow exporters to use a multi-channel exports route and will further stimulate the growth of retail exports through the e-commerce channel that enables great cost benefits and rapid scaling opportunities. Retail Exports is a thriving part of the eBay India business and provides Indian entrepreneurs with a large potential target audience of 100 million eBay buyers from over 190 countries. Retail Exporters on eBay come from all walks of life – artisans, retailers, distributors, wholesalers, manufacturers and exporters. Our recent association with FIEO has also enabled many Indian exporters access to eBay buyers globally.”
For e-Bay, a significant business is done through exports and every minute, two products are exported by e-Bay sellers. Their top products for export include Sterling Silver Gemstone necklaces followed by Loose Diamonds, Homeopathic Remedies, Silk Sarees & Gemstones. USA is the country where most exports are made with United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Germany follow.
As e-commerce is increasing, it is getting recognition and as a result benefits too. K Vaitheeswaran Founder & CEO, Indiaplaza.com articulates, “This new policy indicates two things – the growing acceptance of e-commerce and the understanding by the government that the internet can lead to significant revenue growth and cost savings. I hope companies take advantage of this policy and embrace e-commerce more aggressively.”
For the new entrants, it can act as an impetus to delve in to exports and expand their horizon. Welcoming the move, Getdandy.com, Co Founder and CEO, Bhavishya Wadhawan said, “Export duties and high courier cost are a big challenge right now and this is the right time for the government to back e -commerce export industry that has a huge potential, because since the value of such consignments are not significant at this point of time, even a 10 per cent duty benefit will not pinch the government’s pocket. Since we are planning to enter this domain and start exporting our private labeled goods ranging from home décor, clothing and men accessories, this initiative by government has motivated us to enter soon than later.”
Still awaiting the details of this policy to evaluate its precise effect to the business, Arun Sirdeshmukh, Co-founder & CEO, Fashionara.com says, “We would however welcome any move that encourages Worldwide trade via e-commerce platforms.”
Moving ahead, this would surely add to the e- commerce business however what is to be watched is the actual magnitude of it.