Now, the latter should not hesitate to take responsibility for export promotion. It should look at the opportunities the US-China trade war throws up and strive to make peace with the United States on trade issues. It should take up with the Reserve Bank of India the overall cost to the economy of monitoring realisation of payment against each and every export transaction; also, raise the issue of timely and adequate flow of credit to exporters and transmission of benefit under its interest subvention scheme.
It should also review all export promotion schemes in consultation with the finance ministry and treat deemed export at par with physical export. It should ask if it is necessary to subsidise export of services and examine whether it is necessary to deliver export promotion schemes through the regional offices of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade. A study on whether our free and preferential trading agreements are working to our benefit should be commissioned. And, the role of various export promotion councils should be re-assessed.
Nor need the commerce ministry wait till next year to announce a new FTP. In 2004 and 2009, the new Policy was announced within a few weeks of presenting the Union Budget. It was in 2014 that the new Policy was deferred till next April, for no good reason. Now, the finance ministry cannot decide anything on GST without approval of the GST Council. The Budget is unlikely to deal with GST rates and might barely tinker with Customs duties. So, the commerce ministry can go ahead and notify the new FTP, letting the finance ministry give effect to it through fresh notifications.