Board of Trade to meet today

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 22, 2013 04:05 hrs

The Board of Trade, under the chairmanship of the minister of commerce and industry and textiles, will meet on Friday to identify the problems faced by some of the leading export sectors, post which the government will bring out an annual supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy 2009-2014.

This year, the government feels it is urgent to give short-term benefits for the exporting community. In the current financial year, exports have had an extremely poor run, in the wake of  massive slowing in demand in the American and European markets. Lower cost of credit, full rebate of duties and taxes and reduction in transaction cost are some of the items in the government’s agenda.

During April-February, exports have registered positive growth only thrice, something that has happened for the first time since the 2008 financial recession. Exports had fallen steadily since May till December.

So far exports have reached $265.94 billion, which was 4.03 per cent lower than $277.12 billion achieved last year during April-February. Hence, in order to reach last year’s figure of total exports $305 billion, exports in March alone will have to be over $38 billion.

“Since we are much away from our targets fixed for 2012-13, we need to revisit our strategy for imparting competitiveness to exports while simultaneously pursuing aggressive marketing to realize better exports in 2013-14,” said Rafeeque Ahmed, president, Federation of Indian Export Organisations.

According to Sanjay Budhia, chairman of CII’s National Committee on Exports and Imports and managing director of Kolkata-based Patton Group, the government should extend interest subvention to all sectors of exports and inclusion of US under the Focus Market Scheme. Under this scheme exporters get special incentives to create and sustain a particular market.

The Board of Trade is an advisory body on foreign trade to the government consisting of members from the ministries of commerce and industry, finance, external affairs and MSME among others.

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