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ftp-thmb.jpg Industry calls for FTP, export finance expansion

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SME Times News Bureau | 11 Aug, 2020
The Confederation of Indian Industry has come up with a 10-point agenda for growth of India's exports, wherein it has sought implementation of a Foreign Trade Policy at the earliest and expansion of export finance.

The report, titled 'Re-orienting India's Export Endeavour in the Covid-19 World', says that India must aim to achieve 5 per cent share in world merchandise exports and 7 per cent in services exports by 2025, a CII statement said.

"The Foreign Trade Policy should be brought out at the earliest to establish a stable and predictable export policy regime," it said.

Seeking expansion of export finance, the industry body said that the Interest Equalisation Scheme should be extended for another two years for all exporters, including the non-MSME sector. It called for fast-tracking GST refunds which hold up working capital and said that cesses should be removed.

It also said that an open and facilitative import environment is required to attract global companies and ensure competitive access to intermediate goods. In general, higher duties on finished goods and lower duties on intermediates should be applied, the statement added.

"The pandemic situation has impacted world trade negatively. However, it also provides a big opportunity for India to better engage with the world and boost its export performance. This is an opportune time for India to strengthen its domestic manufacturing through a strong partnership between the government and industry," CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said.

"As more and more countries are looking at realigning their trading strategies and diversifying their import sources post the Covid-19 outbreak, India must leverage the present situation to emerge as an alternative destination for sourcing cost-effective, quality products," he added.

He was of the view that a key point in India's export strategy must be to strengthen its participation in global value chains.

As per the report, the capacities of the Export Import Bank and the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation need to be strengthened to raise resources and lower risks.

Trade facilitation can be strengthened through digital tools for faster movement of goods at the border. It recommended reducing physical examination of goods, widening the 'Authorised Economy Operator' programme, and ensuring 'Direct Port Delivery' system.

It also suggested that the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) must be extended and included under the National Infrastructure Pipeline. In the medium term, it is essential to draw up a comprehensive strategy for hinterland connectivity, the CII said among other suggestions.
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