NEW DELHI: The Government will look at ways to promote exports in the “shortest possible time’’ by mitigating GST regime challenges faced by exporters and by providing support that could facilitate increase in both value and volume of outbound shipments, said Suresh Prabhu, Commerce & Industry Minister recently.
“India’s export-to-GDP ratio has to go up in order to increase capacity utilisation of existing manufacturing units. Exports have great ability to generate economic activity by its own steam.
We have to work out what can be done to promote exports in the shortest possible time,” Prabhu said in his first press conference after taking up charge as the Minister.
The Minister said that he was aware of the issues that the exporters are facing in the GST regime and would work to mitigate them.
“There are certain challenges that the export sector is facing because of GST implementation. We are taking up these with the concerned authorities,” Prabhu said.
The Ministry will also work on a support package that could increase both value and volume of exports, he added.
A mid-term review of the five year Foreign Trade Policy is scheduled to be announced soon. Fresh measures to boost exports could be part of the review. Although exports in 2016-17 posted an increase of 4.71 per cent to $274.64 billion after two years of continuous decline, growth has started decelerating again. In July 2017 export growth slowed down to 3.9 per cent to $22.5 billion.
Agri export policy
Prabhu has also asked his Ministry officials to prepare a agriculture export policy.
“Agriculture is the most important part of livelihood as well as employment. The paradox is that when production goes up, prices fall.
“For incomes to go up, you have to find markets for exports quickly as domestic market is not large enough to absorb increased production,” the Minister added.
Prabhu, who was earlier the Minister for Railways, said logistics was being added in the rules of business of commerce now, so the Ministry will work on this also.
“We will bring logistics to the forefront and work on that as there is a direct link between competitiveness of exports and logistics,” he said.
A new industrial policy to support the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government will also be announced soon.