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New Foreign Trade Policy will be rolled out from April 1, says govt

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India’s new Foreign Trade Policy, under formulation, will come into effect from April 1, 2021 for five years and will strive to make the country a leader in international trade, the government said on Tuesday.

The information was shared with Members of Parliament during a briefing about the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP).

The Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry held a meeting on Tuesday on the subject ‘New Foreign Trade Policy 2021-26’.

It was chaired by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Hardeep Singh Puri, and attended by Members of Parliament (MPs) and senior officers of the ministry.

“It was informed that the District Export Hubs initiative will form an important component of the new FTP,” the commerce ministry said in a statement.

The committee members were also informed that the Department of Commerce through the Regional Authorities of Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has engaged with state/Union Territory governments to take forward this initiative in the districts and enable its implementation in a phased manner.

The exercise is being undertaken with the objective of mobilising each district to achieve its potential as an export hub.

“It was informed that the new FTP will come into effect from 1 April 2021 for a period of five years and will strive to make India a leader in the area of international trade and channelize the synergies gained through merchandise and services exports for growth and employment with a goal to make India a USD 5 Trillion economy,” it added.

A key driver for India to achieve the USD 5 trillion mark in an expedited time frame would be boosting exports, both merchandise and services.

This has to be done through systematically addressing domestic and overseas constraints related to the policy, regulatory and operational framework for lowering transactions costs and enhancing ease of doing business, and creating a low-cost operating environment through efficient logistical and utilities infrastructure, the ministry said.

Improvements in the operations of the domestic manufacturing and services sectors in combination with efficient infrastructure support by the government would result in correcting the imbalances within India and feed into the trade policy, it added.

Meetings have been held with stakeholders for the formulation of the new FTP.

In December 2020, a Board of Trade meeting was held where inputs from state governments and other stakeholders were received.

“In today’s meeting, Members of Parliament made valuable suggestions regarding new Foreign Trade Policy 2021-26. Minister of State Puri welcomed various inputs and suggestions of the MPs and informed that these will be considered by the Ministry while preparing the new FTP,” the ministry said.

India’s FTP has conventionally been formulated for five years at a time.

The FTP 2015-20 came into effect on April 1, 2015 and the same was extended by one year till March 31, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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