The Foreign Trade Policy 2013-14 is likely to bring cheer to the tourism and hospitality sector, with the Government allowing hotels and tour operators to import cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) under the Served from India Scheme (SFIS).

“I am allowing use of SFIS scrips for import or domestic procurement of motor cars, SUVs, all purpose vehicles for hotels, travel agents, tour operators and companies owning/ operating golf resorts for tourist purposes,” Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told reporters here on Thursday.

He said this was being done to encourage export of services, especially in the tourism sector. The FTP document said the SFIS scrips can be used for payment of import duties. The service providers are entitled to duty credit scrips under SFIS at the rate of 10 per cent of free foreign exchange earned during a financial year.

However, Mr. Sharma said the entitlement would now be calculated on the basis of net free foreign exchange earned, which means after deducting foreign exchange spent from the total foreign exchange earned during the financial year. Users of the scrip who import vehicles will be required to submit proof of registration for tourism purposes within six months.

Further, these vehicles will not be allowed to be imported under EPCG scheme.

He also announced that, in order to facilitate import of motor vehicles, the import of cars and vehicles would also be allowed at Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Faridabad and Ennore Port in Tamil Nadu.

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