New Delhi, Dec 11: Arun Shourie, minister for commerce, industry and disinvestment, today asserted that the Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) scheme was WTO compatible as it was merely a duty neutralisation scheme and not an incentive.
The scheme—which refunds duties that exporters have paid during the manufacture of a product—has been attacked by WTO members as an attempt by the government to provide incentives to exporters to help them break into tough markets. Shourie said the structure of regulations in India had grown like a “coral reef” without any design and underlined the need for simplification of policies and procedures. He urged the exporters to come forward with strategies.
He said the suggestions received from exporters on continuation of DEPB scheme, restoration of benefits under section 10-A and 10-B of the Income Tax Act and the request for setting up an EPC for EOU/EPZ/SEZ will be examined and given due consideration in consultation with the concerned departments.