Duty drawback rate may be lowered

The Finance Ministry is likely to announce a new duty drawback scheme replacing the Duty Entitlement Pass book (DEPB) scheme on Thursday. The new scheme will be operational from October 1.

Sources said that the Finance Ministry might fix the new duty drawback rate three per cent lower than DEPB rates. The panel, constituted by the Finance Ministry to suggest a rate under the new scheme, has also suggested capping of new duty drawback rates at 5.5 per cent, the sources added. The panel submitted its report last week.

At present, corporates get DEPB benefits on an average rate of nine per cent. The average duty drawback rates (when Cenvat facility is availed) come to 13-14 per cent.

The Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, and the Commerce Minister, Mr Anand Sharma, met here on Wednesday to discuss the schemes.

Talking to reporters, Mr Sharma said that his Ministry stressed on the need for a robust duty drawback scheme to replace the DEPB so that exporters continue to get sops.

“I have apprised the Finance Minister on the industries' sensitivities on the issue,” he added.


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