We are fast achieving pre-Covid levels in exports: Commerce secy

Representational image of trade exports

The country's exports recorded a positive growth in January and the outbound shipments are fast moving towards pre-COVID-19 levels, a top government official said on Wednesday.

Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan also said India is well on the way to breaking into new frontiers and exporting goods such as mobile phones and other electronic goods.

"Exports are picking. We are fast reaching to pre-COVID-19 levels," he told reporters here.

The secretary said measures like production-linked incentive scheme would expand the manufacturing base and that will take exports to the true potential.

For the second consecutive month, the country's exports recorded a positive growth and rose 5.37 per cent year-on-year to USD 27.24 billion in January 2021, mainly driven by healthy growth in pharmaceuticals and engineering sectors.

About roll-out of the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme, he said the ministry is in the process of determining the rates and identifying the product lines.

"Work is in a very advanced stage," he said.

The scheme would refund to exporters the embedded central, state and local duties and taxes that were so far not being rebated or refunded.

When asked about concerns being raised by certain members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) about India's raising customs duty on some goods, the secretary said all the duties are within "our bound rates".

The Budget 2021 has proposed rationalisation of customs duty structure with a thrust on both easy and competitive access to raw material and infant industry protection objectives to encourage exports, particularly of value-added products.

The announcements included a reduction in duties on critical raw-material such as iron and steel, copper scrap, naptha, nylon fibre and yarn.

Talking about Budget, he said measures like the development of modern fishing harbours and fish landing centres and scheme for mega investment textiles parks (MITRA) are expected to boost exports from the textiles and marine sector.

Wadhawan said that the Budget allocation for schemes such as the Agriculture Export Policy (AEP) and the Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) has been enhanced and it will help in the implementation of AEP in states and boost agriculture exports.

"Rs 1,000 crore have been provided for the welfare of tea workers, especially women and their children. This will benefit around 10.75 lakh tea workers, including 6.23 lakh women workers engaged in the big tea estates of Assam and West Bengal. In addition, around 1.47 lakh small tea growers are also likely to be benefitted," he said.

He added that streamlining of the anti-dumping duty (ADD)/countervailing duty (CVD) provisions, including measures aimed at enforcing anti-absorption, will potentially enable a level-playing for domestic industry through addressing unfair trade practices.

About anti-absorption provisions, he said that if unfair trade practice is detected by DGTR (directorate general of trade remedies) and ADD or CVD is imposed, there should not be any further circumvention by absorbing it and affecting the price structure in the domestic market.

All the countries use anti-absorption provisions include Europe and the US.

In the Budget, it was proposed to make certain amendments in the provision related to ADD and CVD to provide for anti-absorption provisions.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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