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Sitharaman to chair Board of Trade meet next month to discuss exports

Published Dec 20, 2016, 2:17 pm IST
Updated Dec 20, 2016, 2:17 pm IST
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
 Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will chair the meeting of 70-member Board of Trade next month to discuss ways to boost exports, which has been largely languishing in the negative zone.

It will be the second meeting of the reconstituted Board of Trade (BoT), an official said. The meeting assumes significance as exports have started showing positive growth since September this year.

It grew 2.29 per cent in November. The official said that issues like impact of demonetisation on exporters would figure in the meeting. The objective of the BoT is to have continuous discussion and consultation with trade and industry. BoT is a top advisory body on trade.

The BoT advises the government on policy measures relating to foreign trade policy in order to achieve the objective of boosting India's trade. The Board's last meeting was held in April this year.

In that meeting, the ministry had said that it would focus on six areas, including reviving SEZs and according priority sector status to export credit, in order to boost overseas shipments.

The reconstituted BOT comprises 19 members from industry and academia (non-official members); 31 heads of trade and industry associations (ex-officio members); and 20 top officials including 13 secretaries to government of India, Deputy Governor of RBI, Railway Board Chairman and National Highways Authority of India Chairman.

Besides, the Director General of Foreign Trade is the member secretary of the Board. The non-official members include ICICI Bank Ltd MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar and Biocon Chairman and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.

The terms of reference of the BoT include reviewing export performance of various sectors, identify constraints and suggest industry-specific measures to optimise export earnings.

Since December 2014, exports fell for 18 consecutive months till May 2016. Shipments witnessed growth only in June this year, but again slipped in July and August. Exports started recording positive growth from September.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi


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