Centre to unveil annual supplement to FTP 2009-14

To give a fillip to merchandise exports that picked up momentum in January and February, the government will announce the annual supplement to the five-year foreign trade policy (FTP 2009-14) early April after factoring in responses from industrialists and exporters, said a senior bureaucrat in the Union Commerce & Industry Ministry.

At an interactive session organised by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) in association with Vijaya Bank, Export Credit Guarantee Corporation and Karnataka government’s trade promotion body, Visvesvaraya Industrial Trade Centre (VITU), the additional secretary in the ministry, J S Deepak said, “We will be announcing the annual supplement in the first fortnight of April.”

He regretted the sluggishness in exports from India, though similar economies globally did well. “The more worrisome factor is that emerging economies, like Vietnam, have been able to tackle global slowdown better and managed to grow, unlike India.” India’s cumulative exports for the period April to February this fiscal stood at $265.94 billion compared to $277.12 billion during the same period last fiscal.

He also said that the financing of current account deficit - caused by falling merchandise exports for most part of 2012-13 and rising imports – is currently managed through remittances from non-resident Indians, services exports and foreign direct investment, which is not sustainable in the long run. The CMD of public sector lender Vijaya Bank, H S Upendra Kamath, in his brief remark, said, “While the government should make gold imports less attractive so that it is not brought into India for speculative purposes, it should look at classifying export credit as priority sector lending to boost exports.” The Commissioner of Customs, Bangalore, Sandeep Prakash, said that there has been a rise in gold smuggling into Bangalore over the past few months. “In about seven instances, we have seized about 15 kg of gold in the past five-six months.”

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