Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil
Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, interacted with the trading houses and exporters in
New Delhi on 4 July 2018 seeking
suggestions from them to evolve a strategy to increase exports by USD 100
billion in the next few years.
He informed them that the merchandise export has been
encouraging last year crossing USD 300 billion registering a growth of 10% as
against 5% in 2016-17 and added that the Government has taken initiatives to
boost exports. Mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy, an official
statement says, “ was undertaken which led to increasing export incentives by
33% for MSME and labour intensive sectors. Earlier, Exports Relief Package was
announced by GST Council restoring schemes of duty free procurement of inputs
for exports under Advanced Authorisation/Export Promotion Capital Goods.
Government has been proactive in GST refunds through the refund fortnight
organised in March and June 2018. More than Rs 40,000 crore have been refunded
so far. Refund processes are being streamlined further and made fully
He mentioned he has had discussions with the
Secretaries of key Ministries and also with the States for preparation of
sectoral export and State specific export strategies. FIEO also has been asked
to prepare a strategy for increase in exports by USD 100 billion in short term.
EXIM Bank too has submitted its report about market research for exports. He
sought suggestions from the exporters also to further increase exports by
another USD 100 billion in short term.
Exporters raised concerns, according to the official statement,
about uncertainties in international trade like tariff increases, volatilities
in currencies and review of GSP regime by US. Political developments in Iran,
Russia and the Middle-East have added to the uncertainties. Domestically also,
cost of credit is showing upward trends, banks are adopting rigid approach in
disbursement of credit and liquidity challenges will continue to exist until
GST refund process is made fully automatic with minimum human interaction.
Exporters suggested for providing branding assistance in existing and new
export markets, using Lines of Credit as marketing tool, support for Research
& Development, and promoting e-commerce.
Commerce and Industry Minister assured the exporters
that Government is fully seized of their concerns and is addressing them in the
best interests of the country. He said their suggestions will be incorporated
in the comprehensive export strategy to be finalised soon.
In the interaction, a four-pronged strategy prepared
by FIEO for increasing exports by USD 100 billion was discussed. FIEO has
identified 685 products based on past Indian export performance and global
import performance of various products.
The workshop was organised by Federation of Indian
Exporters Organisation (FIEO) and was also attended by Commerce Secretary, Ms.
Rita Teaotia, OSD, Dr. Anup Wadhawan and DGFT, Alok Chaturvedi.