In a Indian bureaucracy news, Commerce Secretary Ms. Rita A.Teaotia held detailed consultations and deliberations with around 27 Export Promotion Councils to seek their views and suggestions on ways to promote exports. Export Promotion Councils for Apparel, Carpet, Cashew, Chemicals, Cotton, Leather, Electronics & Computer Software, Handicrafts, Gem & Jewellery, Handloom, Indian Silk, Plastics, Powerloom, Sports Goods, Synthethic & Rayon Textiles, Wool & Woollen, EOUs & SEZ, Oilseeds & Produce, Telecom, Pharmexcil etc participated in the meeting. The major issues highlighted by the Export Promotion Councils related to early refund of the duty drawback amounts, credit of interest subvention, increase in the incentives given in the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS), governance issues relating to delays in clearances, addition of more items under the MEIS, request for increase in MEIS incentives for certain items, agreements with specific countries to promote exports of certain items.
Addressing the Export Promotion Councils, the Commerce Secretary informed that the allocations for export incentive schemes in the current financial year has been increased from the earlier Rs.18,000 crore to Rs.21,000 crore and this amount was likely to be available for allocations in the coming week. However, she advised the exporters to ensure timely submission of bills to get this credit. Responding to the large number of suggestions for changes in the MEIS, Commerce Secretary pointed out that the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 was drawn after extensive deliberations. Hence it may not be possible to make changes very frequently and go back on the scheme. She said that with the changing paradigms/ dynamics of the export market, exporters should be flexible in responding to the changing economic scenario and should work in the spirit of give and take wherein getting access has to be complimented by giving access to markets. Highlighting that the SEZs could be made as a fulcrum of Make In India, the Commerce Secretary said that the Govt is concentrating on agreements in multi lateral forums for wider benefits to the exporters.
The Commerce Secretary thanked the Export Promotion Councils for giving valuable suggestions and assured them that these suggestions will be crystallised in a concrete form and specific actions would be taken by the Ministry to facilitate exporters.
Senior officers of the Ministry and DGFT were all present in the meeting to listen to the suggestions/ view points of the Export Promotion Councils.
The meeting comes in the backdrop of declining trend in the exports for which the Commerce Ministry is taking steps to arrest the same for faster export growth in the coming times.