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‘No Board of Trade meeting before FTP’

The Commerce and Industry Ministry would not hold the customary high-level Board of Trade meeting before finalising the new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), to be announced on April 1.
"There will be no such meeting this time. All the work is over for the FTP. The ministry has consulted all the stakeholders for the policy," a senior official said.

The Board of Trade (BoT) is constituted before the FTP, chaired by Commerce and Industry Minister, to discuss measures to boost exports. The FTP has been delayed by an year. BoT was a top advisory body on external trade whose members included top industry leaders and representatives of exporters body FIEO and export promotion councils.

The views of the members were included in the FTP. President of Federation of Indian Exports Organisation (FIEO) Rafeeq Ahmed said that holding consultations with sector specific exporters is much more beneficial than the BoT meeting. "Unless it (BoT) is structurally changed, it has no relevance," Ahmed said. The government will announce incentives in the new FTP to boost exports and contain trade deficit.

The country's exports are in negative zone for three months. They dipped by 15% in February. Due to this, it is difficult for the country to achieve the exports target of $340 billion for this fiscal. 

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