Sops in the works for States that promote exports: Prabhu

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on January 08, 2018

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu

Minister invites suggestions from States at the meeting of the Council for Trade Development

The Commerce and Industry Ministry mulls incentives for States that play a proactive role in promoting exports as it will help boost economic growth, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Monday.

He said he has sought the views of States on the issue, which was discussed during the third meeting of Council for Trade Development and Promotion.

“We are thinking of ideas whereby we can incentivise the States which promote exports. I have mooted this idea before the States and asked them to give their ideas on this,” Prabhu told reporters here.

Trade contributes significantly in boosting the country’s economic growth, the Commerce and Industry Minister said.

If the GDP of States rises, it will push the country’s growth, he said, adding that the focus should also be on districts’ GDP, which in turn would fuel the nation’s economy.

Prabhu said the Ministry is in the process of preparing a strategy to promote overall exports and push the country’s industrial growth.

When asked about the concerns raised by exporters in the meeting related to GST (Goods and Services Tax) refund, he said the issue was discussed and the Ministry is working on an ‘e-wallet’ system to resolve the matter.

Before the implementation of the GST last July, exporters used to get exemptions from duties from the beginning. But now they have to pay first and then seek refund. Due to this process, the FIEO said about ₹1,85,000 crore will get stuck with the government.

Liquidity issues

Under the proposed system, according to Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), the problem of liquidity will be solved as exporters may use it like a running account where money will be debited from e-wallet when duty paid for supplies have to be undertaken and the amount will credited when the proof of exports is made available.

The other issues which came up for discussion during the council’s meeting include role of foreign direct investment (FDI) in promoting exports and enhancing role of States to push shipments.

State policies

During the meeting, Prabhu said, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar suggested that all States prepare their export policies. So far, only 14 States including Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir have done that.

FIEO President Ganesh Kumar Gupta suggested exemption from electricity duty under the GST regime and transport subsidy to increase competitiveness.

Members of the council also deliberated on creating a framework for making the States active partners in boosting exports.

The country’s merchandise exports during April-November 2017-18 increased 12.01 per cent to $196.48 billion.

Published on January 08, 2018

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