The Commerce Department has decided to extend the existing Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20) by another six months till March 31 2023 following demands from different quarters, including the industry, of not introducing the new policy at this point of time.

Earlier, the government had said the new five-year Foreign Trade Policy was to be announced by the end of this month.

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“The government has received requests from Export Promotion Councils and leading exporters that we should continue with current FTP (2015-20), which had been extended from time to time. In recent days, exporters and industry bodies have strongly urged the government that in view of the prevailing volatile global economic and geopolitical situation, it would be advisable to extend the current policy for some time and undertake more consultations before coming out with the new policy,” per a statement issued by the Commerce & Industry Department on Monday.

Aligning the new policy with a new financial year was yet another reason that was taken into consideration.

“There is no certainty yet that the new five-year FTP will be announced on April 1, 2023 as the following year will be an election year and there would be other considerations too,” a source close to the development told businessline.

The existing FTP (2015-20), which was to lapse on March 31, 2020, has been extended for short durations several times. The last six-month extension from April 1, 2022 was to end on September 30, 2022.

The decision to defer the new policy is sudden as the contours of the proposed new FTP (2022-27) were discussed at length at the recent Board of Trade meeting convened by the Commerce & Industry Ministry.

While no new fiscal schemes for promoting exports were on the anvil, the policy focus was to be on promoting ease of trade, e-commerce,  IT-enablement, R&D and export hubs and lowering transaction costs.

Vision statement on cards

The Commerce Department is also working on a Vision Statement for export growth charting out the road-map for attaining 10 per cent of world trade share by 2047.

India’s exports touched an all time high of $422 billion in 2021-22 posting a growth of 44 per cent over the previous year. But there has been a deceleration in growth in the last two months this fiscal due to slowdown in global demand.