FTP to focus on manufacturing led export growth, SEZs: Nirmala

FTP to focus on manufacturing led export growth, SEZs: Nirmala

The new foreign trade policy (FTP) will focus on ways to boost manufacturing sector and exports besides addressing the SEZ issues, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

“The refreshing thing about this time's policy will be to understand where our strength lies, what are the challenges available. Manufacturing will be at the core of it, SEZ would also figure in the FTP,” Sitharaman said.

She said the FTP till now has been only a compilation of schemes to boost exports and regulate imports. The minister said the FTP for 2014-19 would also mention about the schemes and incentives besides ensuring that the announcements are WTO compliant and “making sure that international obligation are not violated.”

The policy is expected to be announced by the end of this month. “We have been reviewing SEZs not just for pushing exports but also because many of them who have already come and played into the SEZ are facing a lot of difficulties,” she said.

The government is looking at the demands of SEZ developers and units on minimum alternative tax (MAT) and dividend distribution tax (DDT), she added. Industry time and again demands roll back of MAT and DDT, saying imposition of the duty has adversely impacted the growth of these zones.

“The Finance Minister was very seized with the matter. I am sure something will come out of it, because it is going to hurt SEZs. The way in which we are looking at in the commerce (ministry), I will certainly be requesting the Finance Minister to sooner rather than later definitely look at the matter. They have been a very big deterrent for the SEZs," she said.

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