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Commerce Ministry blacklists Bharti Airtel over unfulfilled export obligations

BusinessToday.In     January 28, 2020

Ministry of Commerce has blacklisted Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel for failing to meet export obligations. Reports suggest that the Directorate General of Foreign Trade which falls under the ministry has put the telecom operator under 'Denied Entry List' after it could not fulfil export obligations under Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme.

Companies put under the Denied Entry List lose their import licence, and so has Airtel. The company will no longer be able to avail any export benefit or licence from Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). The action against Airtel was taken as the company did fulfil its obligations against getting Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) authorisation

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The EPCG scheme allows import of capital goods at zero customs duty for manufacturing quality goods and services. The companies that get this authorisation have an export obligation equivalent to 6 times of duty saved on the capital goods.

Meanwhile, Airtel said that it has applied for closure of all past licences and had not taken any new licences since April 2018.

"Airtel has not taken any such licence since April 2018 as there is no operational requirement. In fact, the company has already applied for the closure of all past licences that were due and is awaiting approval from the authorities," sources in the company said.

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The Bombay Stock Exchange has sought clarification from the company regarding media reports stating that it has been blacklisted by the DGFT. The telecom operator has not responded yet.

The Bharti Airtel stock closed 23.40 points, or 4.55 per cent, lower at 490.90 at end of trade on Tuesday.

(With agencies' input)

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