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Editorial: Industry Hails Mid-Term Review of Foreign Trade Policy

 

 

The government of India’s much-anticipated mid-term review of Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) has been well received among the trade in the country.

The textile and agri industry, which are the prime movers in raking in foreign exchange into the country via huge exports, said the government’s mid-term review of Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) would help boost exports in labour-intensive sectors like textiles and agriculture.

“The mid-term review of FTP is progressive, growth-oriented and I am glad the government has recognized the urgent need to address the challenges being faced by the exporters on account of the GST roll-out by focusing on reducing procedural burden,” the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (Texprocil) chairman Ujwal Lahoti said.

Likewise, chamber of commerce located across the length and breadth of the country also extended their guarded welcome the announcement. The local chapter of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Coimbatore has welcomed the review.

“We are extremely glad that the policy contains several positive features. The trust-based approach as reflected in the new self- ratification scheme for duty-free import of raw materials will greatly help in expediting export of a number of important products like engineering, textiles, chemicals and high-tech,” Chamber president Vanitha Mohan said.

The incentives worth Rs 8,450 crore package announced will boost exports of goods and services, mainly from labour- intensive segments and MSME and increase employment generation and value addition, she said.

The focus on MSME and labour intensive sectors would help the “Make in India” initiative, she said. Welcoming the policy’s salient features like GST rates on transfer/sale of scrips reduced to zero and E-wallet for exporters to be launched from 1 April, 2018, Vanitha Mohan said that in toto the FTP for the period 2015-20 has set an ambitious target for India’s exports of goods and services.

She hoped FTP would continue to be reviewed and evaluated regularly to address concerns of exporters, simplification of procedures and for export promotion.

In a separate statement, Southern India Mills’ Association Chairman P Nataraj said the policy has given thrust of Ease of Doing Business, ease of trading across borders, exploring new export markets and new export products, simplification of procedures and processes and establishing a National Trade Facilitation Committee, headed by the Cabinet Secretary, to boost exports.

Meanwhile, engineering exporters’ body EEPC India said that the RBI needs to help exporters by reducing the cost of borrowing. “The RBI could have joined the government in helping the exporters by reducing the cost of borrowing,” EEPC India chairman T S Bhasin said. The RBI policy review has taken place a day after the commerce ministry has come out with a pragmatic review of the Foreign Trade Policy. As exports are picking up due to demand pick up in some of the key markets, the domestic exporters must be strengthened to face the increasing competition from countries like China where the cost of capital is significantly lower than India, Bhasin said.

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