New foreign trade policy will come when time is right: DGFT

Business Standard, November 29, 2014
Says new policy will focus on ease of doing business, simplification of procedures and reduction of paperwork

The New Foreign Trade Policy will be unveiled only when the time is ‘right’ even as the government is unlikely to release it in during the winter session of the Parliament, according to director general of foreign trade (DGFT) Pravir Kumar.

“The draft (foreign trade) policy is still under consideration. The government will announce it only when the time is right. It cannot be announced when the Parliament is in session. No policy can be announced outside the Parliament,” Kumar told Ficci here today during a roundtable conference on Foreign Trade Policy jointly organized by CUTS International.

The DGFT also said that until the new policy comes into effect, the old FTP will continue. The old policy, which was announced in August 2009 was to expire in August this year.

“For preparing the new FTP we have had very extensive consultations. We are seriously pondering on issues that are making it difficult for the exporters to export in other countries. Hence, the focus will be basically on ease of doing business. We will be looking at simplification of procedures, rationalization of paperwork and bring in reforms,” he said.

Kumar also added that one of the main thrust areas of the FTP will be to see that taxes are not exported and infrastructural deficiencies are addressed.

He said incentives will be given for exporting in difficult areas, especially landlocked countries with optimal usage of natural resources.

This is for the first time in last many years that a government delayed rolling out the FTP, which is normally announced after the finance budget is presented for a period of five years, post which supplements to the FTP are released.

“The details of the new Foreign Trade Policy are under consultation and finalization,” minister of state (independent charge) for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha Friday.

Merchandised exports from India registered a fall of 5.04 per cent reaching $26.09 billion in October from $27.48 billion same month last fiscal. This was for the first time exports registered contraction in this fiscal.

Overall exports during April-October period registered a growth of 4.72 per cent reaching $189.79 billion from $181.23 billion, according to the latest trade data.

However, the clamor for incentives has gone louder from the industry, which believes that the government should roll out the new FTP soon in order to grab opportunities in the international markets.

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