Why in News?                                                                                                        

Ahead of the interim Budget 2024, exporters have urged the government to allocate funds worth $3.88 billion for the Market Access Initiative (MAI) scheme.

What is Market Access Initiative scheme?

  • Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme is an Export Promotion Scheme envisaged to act as a catalyst to promote India’s exports on a sustained basis.
  • The scheme is formulated on focus product-focus country approach to evolve specific market and specific product through market studies/survey.
  • Assistance would be provided to Export Promotion Organizations/Trade Promotion Organizations/National Level Institutions/ Research Institutions/Universities/Laboratories, Exporters etc., for enhancement of exports through accessing new markets or through increasing the share in the existing markets.
  • Under the Scheme the level of assistance for each eligible activity has been fixed.
  • The following activities will be eligible for financial assistance under the Scheme:

Marketing Projects Abroad

Capacity Building

Support for Statutory Compliances Studies

Project Development

Developing Foreign Trade Facilitation web Portal

To support Cottage and handicrafts units

  • Eligible Agencies

Departments of Central Government and Organisation of Central/

State Governments

including Indian Missions abroad

Export Promotion Councils

Registered trade promotion Organisation

Commodity Boards

Apex Trade Bodies recognized under Foreign Trade Policy of Govt of India

Recognized Industrial & Artisan Clusters

Individual Exporters (only for statutory compliance etc.)

National Level Institutions (e.g. Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), National Institute of design (NIDs), NIFT etc.)/ Research Institutions/Universities/ Recognized laboratories, etc.

  • The funding for each project will be on a cost-sharing basis, with the sharing pattern ranging from 65% to 50% at the minimum.
  • It is administered by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, through the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).