Ref.No.: MAI/Guidelines’21-26 12th August 2021
To: MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL
Revised Guidelines for MAI Scheme from 01.04.2021-31.03.2026
In accordance with the core functions of the Department of Commerce to facilitate creation of an enabling environment and infrastructure for accelerated growth of exports and trade, the Market Access Initiative Scheme is in operation since the year 2003.Export promotion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has also been emphasized in the Union Budget 2020-21. Accordingly, it is proposed to continue with the existing Central Sector Market Access Initiative Scheme (MAI) beyond March 2021 for a period of five years i.e. up to 31st March, 2026. The Scheme will be reviewed for changes, if any, required in promotion of exports in post-COVID 19 situations.
The financial assistance under the Scheme would be given to develop new markets, to promote new products and new exporters as well as to consolidate the existing Indian exports markets.
There shall be an Empowered Committee (E.C.) for sanctioning and monitoring of the projects submitted by the Eligible Agencies.
The Market Access Initiative Scheme 2021 is valid from 01.04.2021 to 31.03.2026.
The Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, New Delhi has issued the following Guidelines to streamline the releases under the Market Access Initiative (MAI).
1. In order to ensure that the benefits of the Scheme reach a larger number of exporters, a maximum of three participations in a particular trade fair/ exhibition would only be eligible for MAI assistance, i.e. members who have availed assistance three times (including past cases) for a particular fair/exhibition, thereafter have to participate in that fair on their own. In the case of exporters belonging to SC/ ST/ Women and the exporters having f.o.b. value of exports of or less than Rs.50 crore in a year, 5 participations in a particular event are allowed.
2. EPCs/Trade Bodies must ensure that the MAI funding support is only provided to a member/participant company for a maximum of three MAI events in a year. In the case of exporters belonging to SC/ ST/ Women and the exporters having f.o.b. value of exports of or less than Rs.50 crore in the preceding year, 5 participations in a year are allowed, provided each one of these is in different market (e.9. Africa, LAC, WANA, ASEAN, etc).
3. In order to ensure that the benefits of the Scheme reach a larger number of exporters, a maximum of three participations in a particular trade fair/exhibition would only be eligible for MAI assistance i.e. members who have availed assistance three times (including past cases) for a particular fair/exhibition, thereafter have to participate in that Fair on their own. EPCs/TB must ensure that the MAI funding support is only provided to a member for a maximum of two MAI events in a year.
4. Reimbursement of airfare for participation in approved international events:
(i) Members to have completed 12 months of Membership and is regularly filing returns with the EPC.
(ii) Permissible only to the regular Director /Partner/ Proprietor or a regular officer of the company on senior managerial position.
(iii) Claim Forms duly filled in and complete in all respects must be submitted to the EPC concerned within 45 days of return to India.
5. Payment made under the Scheme to the agency shall be open to inspection by the sanctioning authority and audit, both by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and internal audit by the Principal Accounts Office of the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry as also by other means as deemed fit by the Government of India.
6. The Government of India will cause physical verification and other such enquiry as deemed flt, of the projects sanctioned under the Scheme.
7. Any organization / exporter / trader / company availing any of the provisions of the Scheme shall not be under investigation / charged / prosecuted / debarred / blacklisted under the Foreign Trade Policy of India or any other law relating to export and import business.
8. The first report (output report) submitted online after the event should indicate the participants companies' credentials and steps taken by the EPC / Trade Body to verify the credentials. The exhibitors should be represented by senior person and should be capable of effectively displaying the products and services in the events (not only catalogues and brochures). Similarly, it may be ensured that foreign buyers participating in RBSMs are of the level of Director/ Senior Executive/ Sourcing Agent.
9. EPCs/Trade Bodies need to provide 6-digit HS Codes in respect of the products being promoted/ marketed by exhibitors, details of the exporters participating in the event, including the name of the participant with designation, name of the exporting company, IEC number and/or RCMC of the exporting company and address of the exporting company/ and in the case of RBSMs, profile of the buyers, like name of the buyer with designation, name of the company, country, etc.
10.The EPCs/TBs should submit video clippings of the events, including stalls and its surroundings and ensure documentation of complete utilization of the Govt. grants. The EPCs can use webcam to record and submit the clippings electronically.
11.Promotion of exporters belonging to MSMEs/Start-ups/ Northeast Region, J&K, Ladakh and other hill areas and exporters belonging to SC/ST/ Women/Youth. It shall be the endeavor of the EPCs and Trade Bodies to promote exporters belonging to MSME, Start-ups, Northeast Region, J&K, Ladakh & other hill areas and the exporters belonging to SC/ ST/ Women and Youth. They may be given preference in the activities undertaken with the MAI assistance.