Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the revised Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) would be released early to synchronise the same with roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill.
Sitharaman, while chairing a meeting on the mid-term review of the FTP 2015-20, organised jointly by the Department of Commerce and Research and Information System for the Developing Countries (RIS) said the core focus of the revised FTP is to promote exports from the SMEs and high employment potential sectors.
Major suggestions discussed during the deliberations included promotion of Rupee trade, facilitating imports and reducing cost of credit. Participants recommended harnessing the high foreign exchange earnings and large employment generation potential of services related to the tourism, education and health sectors.
Such ‘Mode 2’ Services, also called the ‘Consumption Abroad’ category, were said to significantly contribute in economic development and job creation.
Concerns were also raised on issues relating to the GST and its impact on export. Sitharaman said the Department of Commerce has already taken up these issues with Department of Revenue, and assured that it will be discussed at length before the GST council to find a solution.
Critical role of the logistics sector for export competitiveness was also discussed, in addition to deliberations on reducing the cost of credit in promoting exports, export basket diversification, strategy for promoting value added exports, agriculture exports and services exports.