Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday underlined the need for synergising efforts between Centre and states to boost the country’s exports on sustainable basis.
“Since last January, we have managed to contain our trade deficit due to controls on imports, there is an immediate need to synergize our efforts and jointly take appropriate steps to boost India’s exports - which is the only sustainable way in today’s international trade environment,” she said.
The minister was addressing the meeting of the ‘Council for Trade Development and Promotion’.
Its members include trade/commerce ministers of states and UTs, besides 14 secretaries of the central government and industry representatives including Federation of Indian Export Oraganisations (FIEO).
Sitharaman said that the objective of this council is to develop partnerships with the states with the aim of boosting international trade.
She sought suggestions to improve the export competitiveness of domestic products and “on how can we partner in the adoption of such measures to create an environment conducive for exports”.
Seeking support from the members, she said all should use this platform to articulate their perspective on the trade policy and work jointly to address impediments to trade and infrastructure gaps which adversely affect exports.
“One such area which requires immediate intervention is that of facilities for testing, certification, trace-back, packaging and labelling,” she said. The minister also requested the states to enhance their co-operation with central agencies for setting up common facilities like testing labs, training institutes as well as packaging and storage support to industry.
She said the centre is also trying to formulate a scheme which could provide financial support and supplement your efforts to create export infrastructure.
Tax refund to exporters under GST within seven days: Com Min
The Department of Revenue has promised to refund tax claims of exporters within seven days under the new GST regime, thus addressing a major concern of the sector, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. She also said that exporters would get interest on the refund if it is delayed beyond two weeks. Exporters have been demanding ab-initio exemption from payment of taxes under the GST regime arguing that delay in refunds often takes months and also results in blocking the working capital. They also stated that exports need to be encouraged in view of the global slowdown.