Showing posts from September, 2012

Trade invoicing in INR: Some thoughts

Most of our trade is invoiced in Freely Convertible Currencies (FCC) such as Euro (around 8% of total), Pound (3%), Yen(0.5%) or USD ( 87%). In fact, to become eligible for benefits under our Foreign Trade Policy, one has to realize the export proceeds in FCC 'only', as per para 2.4 a of FTP (ignoring minor arrangements through Vostro/Nostro/ACU and Nepal/Bhutan trade) The questions are: why do we have this practise? Is it good? What if we tweak it and allow people to inovice  and realize the money in INR and let them avail the benefits of FTP. And what determines the invoicing currency in international trade to start with? Will traders rush to invoice in INR if they are allowed to? And so on.  We have this practice of invoicing/realizing in INR because our currency is not an international currency. Till we become fully convertible, it is not easy to be an international currency. Importers cannot (generally) ask the quote in INR as the exporters from abroad cannot hed

The Phantom Menace

Can there be one 'simple' test for policymakers, that if applied to a trade policy measure, could come up with an answer that tells if the step is good or not? I tried to devise one and failed. However, I believe that one can spot a bad policy decision, after the policy gets implemented. I guess, that can be one of the tests. It's a personal view, but I believe the measure to give duty exemption on imported luxury cars in the name of Export Promotion is one such bad measure. The Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), under chapter 5, has a policy that's called Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme. EPCG is an excellent scheme by itself, as it is aimed at capacity building of the industry. You can read more about it  here  and  here . In short, one can import capital goods/machinery, without paying any duty on it, and export the manufactured items (ideally from that machine), over a given period of time in lieu of it. That helps the industry to climb up the technolo