Expand India’s Footprint Globally, Commerce & Industry Minister Tells Exporters

September 2019
Expand India’s Footprint Globally, Commerce & Industry Minister Tells Exporters

The Union Minister of Commerce & Industry & Railways, Piyush Goyal has told Indian exporters that it was the right time to expand the country’s export footprint globally. Although total exports of India had crossed half a trillion-dollar mark at USD 537 billion in 2018-19, goods exports were at an all-time high of USD 331 billion and services exports stood at a record USD 205 billion, India would have to achieve one trillion USD of exports over the next five years. For this, the minister said there was a need to increase domestic production and improve competitiveness.

Simultaneously, both central and state governments, together have to take measures for further improving ease of doing business, decrease logistics cost and simplify regulatory procedures. The minister opined that thought it was a matter of pride that the country’s rank in ease of doing business had improved from 142 in 2014 to 77 in 2018, with trading across borders up from 122 to 80, the country had to break into top 50 nations and states had a major role there.

Goyal said that the expo growth in the current fiscal was unsatisfactory as India had a huge potential for exports due to the trade dispute between the US and China, which had provided a window of opportunity to Indian manufacturers. 

Goyal shared these observations while addressing the second meeting of Board of Trade in New Delhi on September 12.

He announced that the Commerce & Industry Ministry would soon be coming out with a credit scheme for exporters with enhanced insurance cover up to 90 per cent instead of the present 60 per cent. 

Addressing the participants, he said that each district of India has the potential equal to that of a country with its own distinct handicraft and unique specialties like saris, perfumes, sweets and utensils which had the potential for exports. There was a need for transforming each district of India into an export hub. The Commerce & Industry Minister urged his colleagues from states to identify and take measures to realise this by incorporating it into the country’s export strategy.

Goyal further said that the merger of public sector banks (PSB)s will now enable them to disburse enhanced credit, raise their risk appetite and to raise resources from the market. He further added that Rs 700 billion would be released to PSBs upfront, and additional lending and liquidity to the tune of Rs 5 trillion would benefit corporate, retail borrowers, MSMEs, small traders and exporters.

All pending GST refunds due to MSMEs will be paid within 30 days and improved One Time Settlement policy will benefit MSMEs and retail borrowers in settling their overdue, the minister added.

In his opening remarks Piyush Goyal listed out the many initiatives that have been taken to digitise the interaction with exporters like e-issue of importer-exporter’s code, paperless Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS), paperless Advance and Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) Authorisations and online Registration Cum Membership Certificate (RCMC) for exporters. Also, the organisation of Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) field offices had resulted in better utilisation of human resource.

During the inaugural session the LEADS Index 2019 was released by the minister along with Ministers of State for Commerce and Industry, Hardeep Singh Puri and Som Parkash, CEO NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant, Commerce Secretary, Anup Wadhawan, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Secretary, Guruprasad Mohapatra and DGFT, Alok Vardhan Chaturvedi.

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