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Piyush Goyal helds interaction with Export Promotion Councils & Industry Associations

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NEW DELHI : Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Sri Piyush Goyal held an engaging interaction with Export Promotion Councils & Industry Associations. The discussion was about the strategies to enhance global market outreach, further boost India’s exports by focusing on key sectors, and addressing trade barriers and promoting innovation at Bharat Mandapam on June 27, here. Exporters asked the government to firm up a strategy to deal with the issue of non-tariff barriers imposed by trade partners that ultimately hurts India’s exports.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), the apex body for exporters, urged the government to set up a separate division in the department of commerce to deal with such trade barriers, amid rising non-trade issues. This would help in dealing with challenges faced by the industry in flagging the issues at the bilateral or regional level.

Another person who attended the meeting said that some exporters requested the government to take a look into the non-tariff barrier-related challenges to ensure smooth working, especially for the small businesses.

This is the first review meeting since Goyal took over as the commerce and industry minister earlier this month. “The shortage of MAI  (Market Access Initiative) funds is affecting showcasing of our exports. The fund of Rs 200 crores is grossly inadequate to support exports of $500 billion or more. We require a corpus of Rs 500 crore annually for the scheme as the participation cost has significantly increased. Moreover, we request early approval to the MAI calendar so that the participants get adequate time for their visa and book their tickets much in advance as international fairs are skyrocketing,” according to FIEO.

Exporters also called for an extension of the interest equalisation scheme for five years. The scheme is valid till June 30. Under the scheme, banks provide loans to exporters at a lower interest rate, and the lenders are thereafter compensated by the government.

Amid a rise in interest rates consequent to increase in repo rate from 4.4 per cent to 6.5 per cent in the last two years, exporters said that the subvention rates need to be increased from 3 per cent to 5 per cent.

Exporters also called for the need to bring in a national shipping company to break the monopoly of foreign shipping companies.

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