The Centre, state governments and industry representatives will meet on January 8 to discuss ways to boost the country’s exports, a commerce ministry official said. The third meeting of the ‘Council for Trade Development and Promotion’ will be chaired by Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu. The council was constituted to promote India’s overseas shipments. In its previous meeting in January last year, issues deliberated upon included improving export competitiveness and creating an environment conducive for promoting exports. They had also discussed about quality and standards of products. The council acts as a platform to develop partnership with states with an aim to boost international trade. The members of the council are trade/commerce ministers of states and Union Territories, besides 14 secretaries of the central government including commerce, revenue, shipping, civil aviation, agriculture, food processing and economic affairs, among others. The council also provides a platform to state governments and UTs for articulating their perspective on trade policy to help them develop and pursue export strategies in line with national foreign trade policy.
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Ganesh Kumar Gupta said they would raise the issues of GST refund and enhancing export-related infrastructure in states. “Small and medium exporters are facing several issues related to Goods and Services Tax (GST), that needs to be resolved. We would also seek greater support to improve infrastructure to increase competitiveness of our products in global markets,” Gupta said. Another exporter Sharad Kumar Saraf, Chairman, Technocraft India, too stated that more support needs to be extended to boost outbound shipments.
On December 5 last year, the government extended incentives to sectors such as leather and agriculture with an aim to boost outward shipments that were disrupted by implementation of GST. Reversing the decline seen in October last year, the country’s total merchandise exports grew 30.55 per cent to USD 26.19 billion in November 2017. Cumulatively, the exports during April-November 2017-18 increased 12.01 per cent to USD 196.48 billion.