Commerce Ministry starts review of foreign trade policy: Nirmala Sitharaman

Govt unveiled its first five-year FTP aiming to double exports of goods and services to USD 900 billion by 2020.

Gandhinagar: The commerce ministry has started the review of the foreign trade policy by consulting all stakeholders to see whether any support is required for certain sectors to further boost exports. Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the foreign trade policy (FTP) is in the process of a review.

"When it (FTP) was announced in 2015, we had said we will go in for a mid-term review so that if there is any tweaking that has to be done, it will be done," she said here at the Vibrant Gujarat summit. She said that the exercise of consulting people and taking stakeholders into confidence is on.

The ministry is doing this "to see as to where and which sectors need that kind of tweaking in the policy".

Since December 2014, exports fell for 18 months on the trot till May, due to weak global demand. Shipments witnessed growth only in June this year, thereafter again entered the negative zone in July and August.

The outbound shipments are growing from September. But the global situation is still uncertain. In April 2015, the government unveiled its first five-year Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), aiming to double exports of goods and services to USD 900 billion by 2020.

In the FTP (2015-20), the government replaced multiple schemes with Merchandise Exports from India Scheme and Services Exports from India Scheme. Sitharaman also said that the ministry had requested the states to appoint export commissioners and formulate a policy.

"The strategy behind that is that the states must have, in line with the FTP, but highlighting their own states' strengths," Sitharaman added. When asked extending extra concessions to US-based iPhone maker Apple to set up manufacturing unit in India, the minister said: "we have not taken a final call" on this.

A team of the US-based iPhone maker Apple will meet a group of senior officials from ministries, including IT and finance, on January 25 to discuss its demands for setting up a manufacturing unit in the country.

The company had sought exemption on the ground that it makes state-of-the-art and cutting-edge technology products for which local sourcing is not possible.

( Source : PTI )
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