‘New foreign trade policy on April 1, existing policy to remain till then’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 28, 2021

Goyal says Ministry trying to ensure fair exchange rate for small exporters

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal confirmed on Monday that the existing foreign trade policy (FTP) will be extended for another six months, till March 31 next year, and the new five-year policy will be implemented from the new fiscal year.

The Centre will soon come up with the necessary notifications for continuation of the existing policy for the next six months as the older notifications would lapse after September 30.

“We are notifying it today evening or tomorrow...We have decided to extend the policy until March 31 and in the new financial year, we can start with the new policy,” Goyal told reporters.

$400-billion target

The Minister also indicated that exports were on track for hitting the ambitious target of $400 billion set for 2021-22 as outward shipments during April1-September 21 2021 had crossed $185 billion. “We are all aware that exports in the first half of a fiscal are usually lower than exports in the second half...There is fatigue after March target meeting. April and May are holiday months and then you have rains coming in. This year, we had the Covid-19 second wave in April and May, running through June. Some States are dealing with it even now. Despite all this, our exporters have done very well,” Goyal said at the closing ceremony of Vanijya Saptah on Monday.

In 2020-21, India’s exports were at $292 billion, which was about 7 per cent lower than exports in the previous fiscal due to disruptions caused by the pandemic world-wide.

The Commerce Ministry had earlier postponed announcement of the new five-year FTP by a year till April 1 2021 and then for another six months till September 30, 2021.

The Minister expressed hopes that by the time the new five-year FTP was announced on April 1 2022, the issues related to Covid-19 would be resolved.

Goyal said that his Ministry was also making efforts to ensure that smaller exporters are extended a fair deal, as far as a justified exchange rate is concerned, by both banks and shipping agents.

Pre-determined rate

“I have asked the DGFT to talk to the Shipping Ministry to see if they can have a pre-determined rate, something like the customs rate, which could be used by all the stakeholders in the value chain of exports. That will be the rate that will be charged to anybody who is using shipping line or paying for freight or clearing in foreign exchange,” he said.

He also observed that smaller exporters were not given as good an exchange rate as larger exporters by banks and he had taken up the issue with the banking sector to ensure that a fair rate is uniformly applicable across the sector.

Published on September 27, 2021

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