Wednesday, October 20, 2021
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Modi govt unveils new Foreign Trade Policy

The new Foreign Trade Policy, unveiled on Wednesday, will focus on promoting service exports and giving fillip to the manufacturing sector as part of the government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.

The FTP has extended interest subsidy scheme and other incentives for labour intensive sectors such as leather and handicrafts.

New trade policy to boost exports, create jobs while supporting ‘Make In India’ and ‘Digital India’, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The FTP will focus on defence, pharma, environment-friendly products and value-added exports, Sitharaman added.

Sitharaman said further export obligation under EPCG scheme to be reduced by 25 percent to promote domestic manufacturing.

Govt will continue incentives for units located in SEZs and promote e-commerce with focus on employment-creating sectors, Sitharaman said.

Besides services sector, it would focus on standards and branding of products and also take care of World Trade Organisations’s rule and free trade agreements of India.

The services sector contributes about 55 percent to the country’s gross domestic product. During April-October period, services exports were worth USD 113.28 billion.

The new FTP (2015-2020) would have a total of nine chapters including a separate one on services exports.

As part of ease of doing business, the commerce ministry has reduced paper work for both exports and imports. It has also permitted online submission of documents to take Import-Export Code number, which is must for a trader.

All exports and imports related activities are governed by the FTP. It mainly aims at enhancing the country’s exports and use trade expansion as an effective instrument of economic growth and employment generation.

The government is struggling to boost merchandise exports as India’s outbound shipments in the last three years have been hovering at around USD 300 billion.

India’s exports in 2013-14 fall short of the USD 325 billion target and managed to reach USD 312.35 billion. The country’s exports stood at USD 300.4 billion in 2012-13 and USD 307 billion in 2011-12.

Falling for the straight third month, India’s exports declined steeply by over 15 percent to USD 21.54 billion in February.

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