29 Oct : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh announced India’s Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) on the occasion of the India-Africa Forum Summit of African Heads of States/Governments and their official representatives in New Delhi on April 8, 2008.
The DFTP Scheme grants duty free access on 94% of India’s total tariff lines to be implemented over a period of five years. Specifically it will provide preferential market access on tariff lines that comprise 92.5% of global exports of all LDCs. Products of immediate interest to Africa which are covered include cotton, cocoa, aluminium ores, copper ores, cashew nuts, cane-sugar, ready-made garments, fish fillets and non-industrial diamonds.
The Scheme is open to all 49 LDC members including 33 LDCs in Africa. The Scheme provides that in order to avail benefits under this Scheme, individual LDC members submit a Letter of Intent to the Government of India. The Scheme further provides that in order to enjoy tariff preference, the beneficiary country submits a Certificate of Origin along with the consignment.
As of today, the Department of Commerce has received Letters of Intent from 10 LDCs, out of which Customs Notifications No. 96 and No. 99 have already been issued on 13.8.2008 and 28.8.2008 in respect of 7 LDCs, namely Cambodia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Samoa, Malawi and Lao PDR. The Letters of Intent received from 3 other LDCs, namely Madagascar, Rwanda and Uganda, are under process.