Continue de-linked state export infra scheme, says Panel

Centre had alloted Rs 674.84 cr earlier

Continue de-linked state export infra scheme, says Panel
A Parliamentary committee has come down heavily on the government for stopping fund allocation to an export promotion scheme by states at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is aiming to achieve a threefold increase in India’s exports to $900 billion in the next four years.

It has also asked the government to make efforts to continue the scheme.The Budget for 2015-16 proposed to de-link eight schemes from central assistance. Assistance to States for Developing Export Infrastructure and Allied Activities or ASIDE is one of them. A sum of Rs 674.84 crore was allocated under ASIDE scheme in 2014-15. This year no funds are allocated under state component of ASIDE. However, Rs 50 crore has been budgeted for the central component of ASIDE which will be used primarily to meet the committed liabilities under projects already sanctioned.

“The committee is little perturbed over this development since many states are still in the process of development of export infrastructure and leave an imprint on the export map of the country. The committee is of considered view that a complete disconnect with states will adversely affect export efforts of many states,” Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce has said in its report recently tabled in Parliament.

The scrapping of the scheme will take away the incentives from the states to take interest in export promotion measures, the committee said adding it will “ultimately take a toll on inclusive growth of the country”.

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently informed the Lok Sabha that the government has proposed two institutional mechanisms to address issues facing exporters, one of which will have representatives of central as well as state governments.  The first mechanism, she said, was ‘Board of Trade’, which will have an advisory role and the other being the ‘Council for Trade Development and Promotion’.

The council will be a body with representatives of the central government and various states and union territories.

“The target of achieving $900 billion exports of merchandise and services by 2019-20 may also suffer if all the states/UTs of the country are not made equal partners in export efforts,” the committee said.

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