India seeks stakeholders’ inputs on boosting exports



A worker walks past a container ship at Mundra Port in Gujarat. Reuters

Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has held a mega meet with all Export Promotion Councils (EPCs), Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) and Commodity Boards to discuss ways to boost exports, an official statement said.

Thirty-seven EPCs, the FIEO and three Commodity Boards under the Department of Commerce attended the meeting to discuss issues being faced by them.

“In a marathon five-hour meeting held on Thursday in New Delhi, Piyush Goyal reviewed and sought inputs from EPCs for the Foreign Trade Policy and get their views on steps that may be taken to boost India’s exports,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Pre-budget inputs from EPCs were also taken so that they may be sent to the Finance Ministry.”

As per the statement, the EPCs, FIEO and Commodity Boards gave their feedback on the various initiatives being taken by the ministry to ease lending and credit availability to exporters.

“The problem of exporters identified as ‘risky exporters’ by CBIC was taken up and Commerce and Industry Minister directed that a nodal officer be appointed in the office of Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT),” the statement said. “He urged the councils to send a list of those identified as risky exporters to the nodal officer in DGFT so that this issue may be taken up with the Finance Ministry.”

Furthermore, Goyal suggested that rationalisation of EPCs “must be taken up in order to avoid duplication of work”.

According to the minister, large exporters may continue to be part of FIEO, while smaller councils may merge with bigger EPCs that deal with the products of similar nature.

Besides, Goyal urged exporters to make use of the NIRVIK scheme that is expected to soon be approved by the Cabinet.

The scheme envisages easy access to lending and enhanced loan availability that will cover 90 per cent of the principal interest and will also include both pre and post shipment credit.

Additionally, the minister assured EPCs that specific issues and problems being faced some of them in sectors such as “Telecom, Forest Produce and Shellac Export Promotion Council, Sports Goods EPC and CAPEXIL” will be taken up with other line Ministries, so that these issues may be sorted out soon. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday held pre-Budget consultation with the representatives of industry, services and trade groups in connection with the forthcoming General Budget 2020-21.

The main areas of discussion during the meeting included regulatory environment impacting private investment, measures for promotion of exports amidst rising protectionist tendencies, Industrial production, logistics, Media & Entertainment services & IT & IT enabled services among others.

Ajay Sahai, President Federation of Indian exports (FIEO) said, “we need to bring ‘Double Tax Deduction Scheme for Internationalization of MSMEs’ to allow MSMEs to deduct against their taxable income, twice the qualifying expenses incurred for approved overseas activities including market preparation, market exploration, market promotion and market presence.

A ceiling of $2,00,000 may be put under the Scheme so that the investment and tax deduction are limited, he said. He also called for an exports Development Fund.

The meeting was attended by Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Finance Secretary, Rajeev Kumar, Atanu Chakraborty, Secretary, Economic Affairs, Shri Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Revenue Secretary, Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Anup Wadhanwan, Secretary Department of Commerce and CBDT, CBIC chairmen including CEA KV Subramanian.

With a view to give boost to Indian economy, the representatives of Industry, Services and Trade Sectors submitted several suggestions concerning Ease of doing business for going concern by reduction of compliance burden, reduction of tax litigation, allowing self-certification in low risk industry, decriminalisation of Tax and Company Laws, reduction of cost of equity capital.

They also called for simplification and rationalisation with regards to duties and labour laws, adoption of international standards of Alternative Dispute Resolution, Export Development funds for helping MSME exporters, ease of investment flow into manufacturing sector.

Representatives of Industry, Services and trade Sectors included Vikram Kirloskar, Sandip Somany, President, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Deepak Sood, Secretary General ASSOCHAM; Ajay Sahai, DG & CEO, FIEO among others.

Indo-Asian News Service


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