Govt to study trade policy impact on export

Govt to study trade policy impact on export

Union Commerce & Industry Minister Anand Sharma (right) with Ficci President Rajan Bharti Mittal at a national seminar on Foreign Trade Policy in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI

“We will have another round of review of export performance by end of this year. We will examine the impact of various policy measures undertaken by us (the commerce ministry) on various sectors,” Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said at an interactive session with Ficci on FTP here on Tuesday.

His indication about fresh round of review of export performance came a day after announcing annual supplement 2010-11 to the FTP (2009-14).

In a bid to promote export, which has been impacted due to shrinkage of demand following global slowdown, the government has rolled out sops worth Rs 1,050 crore to exporters through extension of various export promotion schemes for the labour-intensive segments like textiles, handicrafts and leather. Perturbed over the declining growth rate in export, due to slow pace of global recovery, the government, after unveiling the FTP (2009-14) in August 2009, has already conducted two rounds of review of performance of various segments of export—one in November 2009 and second in April 2010.

“We may take further measures to boost export performance of those segments, which will still need assistance for improvement,” Sharma said.

He also assured exporters that there would not be any premature withdrawal of the stimulus measures as the global economic recovery has been weak, uneven and jobless.

“The trade policy will be tweaked in the light of developments in the world economy after consultations with all the stakeholders and interactions with chambers of commerce,” he indicated. Expressing robust optimism that the country would be able to achieve export target of $200 billion in the current fiscal 2010-11, Sharma pointed out that the global recovery so far had been fragile and economies around the world were still emerging out of the shadows of a grim recessionary period.

Cautioning exporters of the continuing uncertainty in the global economy, Sharma said, “Continuity and stability are the corner stones of the new policy.”

“We have continued with various export promotion schemes to help export maintain growth momentum,” he said. He told exporters about the serious engagement with industry on reducing transaction costs for Indian exporters and expressed hope of reducing these costs by almost 40 per cent in less than 2 months. On the rising threat of protectionism from developed countries, Sharma said that there was a need to give fresh impetus to free trade and urged all key interlocutors to signal political intent to successfully conclude the Doha Round.

He said, India is regularly engaged with WTO member countries and would try to arrive at a consensus, which leads to free and fair trade.

In response to growing concern over proposed withdrawal of tax benefits for investment in Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Sharma said, “The government is sensitive to the concerns of SEZ producers and developers. We have taken up the issue of SEZ developers with the finance minister and the prime minister. We hope this problem will be addressed in a equitable manner.”

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