What is the Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme?

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What is the Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme? Blog Image


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.

About Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme

  • It 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 markets and specific products through market studies and surveys. 
  • Assistance would be provided to Export Promotion Organizations/Trade Promotion Organizations/National Level Institutions/ Research Institutions/Universities/Laboratories, Exporters etc., for the enhancement of exports through accessing new markets or through increasing their share in the existing markets.
  • Under the Scheme, the level of assistance for each eligible activities 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 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).

Q1) What is the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)?

This Directorate, with headquarters at New Delhi, is responsible for formulating and implementing the Foreign Trade Policy with the main objective of promoting India's exports. The DGFT also issues scrips/authorization to exporters and monitors their corresponding obligations through a network of 24 regional offices.

Source: Interim Budget 2024: Exporters seek higher allocation for MAI scheme