Commerce Minister Tells Officers to Help Exporters “Yesterday” Instead of “Tomorrow
• India Serious on RCEP (ASEAN 10 + China, Japan, Korea + Australia – New Zealand, India)
• Exporters say that April 2016 will Reverse Falling Trend
Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce held a meeting on 2 February with the Chairpersons of major Export Promotion Councils to review the current trend of exports from India and to take stock of issues faced by the exporters.
Taking note of the concerns expressed by the Export Promotion Bodies, the officers in the Department of Commerce were directed by the Minister to take up with concerned administrative Ministries on sectoral issues bilaterally or multi-laterally as may be needed. She impressed upon the officers the need for resolving matters on “yesterday basis” rather than on a “tomorrow basis”.
The Minister was clarified that the ASEAN FTA is under review and she sought feedback for the same from all the industry members. Other trade agreements like RCEP, are on the anvil and for which Department of Commerce is frequently meeting the industry members from all sectors. (RCEP covers ASEAN 10 with Japan, Korea and China from East Asia and Australia-New Zealand from Pacific. 10 rounds have been held. Another 4 rounds are proposed with conclusion in September this year).
Exporters say that in terms of volume, most of the commodities have shown resilience and have maintained the levels achieved in the previous fiscal 2014-15. Trade prospects would start looking up from the second quarter of 2016-17. The recent downturn in exports from India was attributable to factors like reduction in commodities prices, lack of demand in key markets and currency devaluation/fluctuation, some of which was also linked to fall in petroleum prices.
Exporters were apprehensive that EDI in DGFT was good but ground level experience was not so good.
DGFT said disbursements under duty drawback were up, as against Rs.27053.00 crores disbursed during 1.1. 2014 to 26.1.2015, an amount of Rs.28440.00 crores was disbursed during the corresponding period of 2015–16. Benefits provided under major DGFT Schemes like Export Incentives, Advance Authorisation, and DFIA have in the first 10 months of the current fiscal show proportionately higher figures as against 2014-15 (Chapter – 3 Incentives, Advance Aurhorisation/DFIA, EPCG Authorisations have shown values of Rs.9387.00 crore; Rs.140860.00 crore and Rs.10693 crores respectively), which substantiated the progressive steps taken by the Department to support exports.