The Plastics Export Promotion Council (PLEXCONCIL), the apex trade body of plastics exporters, has stated that plastics’ exports have grown in January 2021 (up 12.2 per cent vis-à-vis January 2020) and February 2021 (up 3.2 per cent vis-à-vis February 2020 on a provisional basis) – the second successive month of growth in plastics’ exports in the new year.
In January 2021, nine of the product panels, namely, Composites / FRP products; Floor Coverings, leathercloth & laminates; Human hair; Pipes & fittings; Polyester films; Plastics raw materials; Rigid packaging & PET preforms; Woven sacks / FIBCs and Miscellaneous products witnessed a positive growth.
With the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry (CIM) doing continuous engagements with the plastics industry, which mostly comprise of MSMEs, the industry is witnessing stabilization in raw materials prices (particularly PVC Resin) in March 2021. The plastics industry welcomed the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry’s initiative to coordinate with different Ministries and Government bodies after PLEXCONCIL sought his intervention to ensure adequate raw material supply to the processors from petrochemical majors (including PSUs) at a fair price.
PLEXCONCIL also welcomed the clarifications issued by the GST Policy Wing on refund related issues for exporters vide Circular No. 147/03//2021-GST (dated 12th March 2021) issued by Department of Revenue, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, Ministry of Finance. The Board issued clarifications to ensure uniformity in the implementation of the provisions of law across the field on refund related issues wrt exporters. The clarification points out that there is no restriction on recipient of deemed export supplies in availing Input Tax Credit (ITC) of the tax paid on such supplies when the recipient files for refund claim. It clarified on extension of relaxation for filing refund claim in cases where zero-rated supplies have been wrongly declared in Table 3.1(a).
The recent announcement by Indian Railways to provide complete logistical support also comes as a great relief to the industry. Logistics form an integral part of export costs to plastics processors – increased number of containers, efficient supply-chain and lower costs therein will boost global competitiveness of plastics’ exporters. Indian Railways announced that it is further boosting Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Vocal For Local initiative & also increasing its contribution in exports by providing safe, swift & economical logistic solutions.
The CIM’s Digital India initiatives are also helping exporters. The Telegram channel of Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Railways, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution (and channel on Koo: The Voices of India), has helped Indian exporters to stay updated with all the latest ministerial developments & progress of various Government policies.
Arvind Goenka, Chairman, PLEXCONCIL said, “The growth in plastics’ exports in the first two months of 2021 are a reflection of the entrepreneurial spirit, resilience and determination of Indian exporters, who are facing many challenges. PLEXCONCIL has been seeking a level playing field, enhanced infrastructure, financial assistance for MSME, stable raw material prices, tax reforms and review of Inverted Duty Structure under GST amongst others. The Government of India’s recent actions have come as a relief to Indian plastics’ exporters and the export performance speaks for itself. The inclusion of plastics in the Government’s proposed PLI scheme will give a boost to Make in India for the world and also help in achieving AtmaNirbhar Bharat.”
The association also welcomed the Government of India’s thrust on tapping the global toys market, which is projected to reach revenue of more than US$ 120 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of around 4 per cent during 2017-2023. The Indian toys market was worth US$ 1.75 billion in 2019.
In its endeavor to promote plastics exporters, the apex body has also lined up several Buyer-Seller Meets (BSMs) in virtual mode during this pandemic year. One of the recent PLEXCONNECT: Virtual B2B meet was for NAFTA region (US, Canada, Mexico) on 15-17 March, 2021. NAFTA imports plastics products worth US$ 187 billion every year. Yet, NAFTA plastics imports from India are valued at US$ 2.1 billion, which means India has share of just 1.1 per cent in NAFTA’s Plastic import. This is a great opportunity for Indian plastics exporters to enhance their business.