Will meet $1-trn export target by '25, says Goyal; industry seeks more help

Industry urged the government to operationalise the new export credit insurance scheme, expand the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme
India is on track to achieve the $1-trillion export target by 2025, said Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal at the Board of Trade meeting on Wednesday where the government and industry deliberated on measures to boost exports, manufacturing and the new foreign trade policy.

Industry urged the government to operationalise the new export credit insurance scheme, expand the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, announce the duty remission rates at the earliest and sign free-trade pacts with the US, the EU and the UK to offset the impact of not joining the Regional Cooperation of Economic Partnership (RCEP).

While Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan called the narrowing trade deficit a ‘silver lining’, he said it was also indicative of a slowdown, and hence “we need to be somewhat concerned about what are the reasons behind falling imports”.

He said if one excluded gems and jewellery and petroleum, the decline in exports was much lower. “In the sectors where economic activity is more meaningful, in terms of value addition, the decline there is much lower,” said Wadhawan at the meeting held via video-conferencing.

The export sectors — which did well during the eight-month period — include pharma, which grew 15 per cent, rice (39 per cent), and iron ore (62 per cent).

The Board of Trade, under the Department of Commerce, comprises senior officials of key ministries, representatives of states and industry and trade promotion bodies.

“The country is rebounding in a very rapid recovery phase. Industry has become more resilient, international global supply chains are looking up to India to provide an anchor for transparent and more open economies to engage with,” said Goyal adding that there was every possibility to achieve export target of a trillion dollar by 2025.

He urged states to supplement efforts of the central government to boost exports. “Different arms of the government have been working to identify and support specific sectors where India has advantages… We have identified 24 industry sectors, which we believe, can add Rs 20 trillion of annual production manufacturing in India. I would like to appeal to the states to supplement the efforts of the central government,” he added.

The Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) in its presentation asked the government to “aggressively pursue FTAs”. “It will provide a level-playing field to our exporters vis-a-vis our competitors... The perceived loss of exports by not joining some mega partnership (RCEP) will be offset. Such FTAs will facilitate exports-led FDI and PLI schemes to investors who would “Make in India” for the globe,” it said in the presentation.

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