New Foreign Trade Policy will focus on trade facilitation, simplifying procedures and diversification of markets & products: Pravir Kumar, DGFT

Business Standard, December 01, 2014
The new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) that is on the anvil will unveil trade facilitation measures, simplify procedures, reduce the interface between bureaucrats and industry for ease of doing business and make the system transparent. It would encourage exploration of new markets and product diversification for export.

The Indian government recognizes the importance of trade for growth of economy and the new FTP would be dovetailed with the long term vision of the government.

This was stated by Mr. Pravir Kumar, Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Department of Commerce, Government of India, at a round table on ‘India’s Foreign Trade Policy’ organized by FICCI, CUTS International and IPE Global. The round table was held with the objective of providing essential recommendations to Mr. Kumar who may consider including them in the new FTP, which is to be announced next year.

The underlying philosophy of India’s FTP is to provide an effective and transparent framework that gives impetus to export and import, said Mr. Kumar. He also assured trade and industry that the new FTP was being formulated only after extensive stakeholder consultations and to the extent possible the draft policy would include recommendations of the industry.

On export of taxes with a product, Mr. Kumar said that the policy is looking at compensating exporters and creating a level playing field so that they do not have to bear the extra burden of taxes.

Mr. Kumar urged the industry to focus on ‘how’ instead of ‘what’ and ‘why’ when it came to increasing trade in the country. He said that the targets are well-known, now it was time to create an effective way forward.

Mr. Sunil Mitra, Director-KPP, DFID-IPE Global, said that the new FTP should be better integrated and the new developmental dimensions should be taken into account. As a cross sector ‘Powerhouse of Ideas’, IPE brings together cutting edge knowledge and management to enable policy reforms for a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable world.

Towards this end, high quality analysis and research was carried out by IPE to assist in formulation of a progressive FTP, he said and added that to make the new FTP effective and enhance the scope of meeting priorities India seeks to achieve, IPE has recommended few steps.

In his theme presentation, Mr. Bipul Chatterjee, Deputy Executive Director, CUTS International, said that for trade policy to be an effective institution there must be convergence between trade policy objectives and broader economic welfare objectives. FTP should mainstream trade into national development for large scale job creation, promote two-way trade and investment. The need is to develop an inclusive trade policy for better economic governance.

Mr. Manab Majumdar, Assistant Secretary General, FICCI, said that the interaction with Mr. Kumar and Mr. D K Singh, Additional Director General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, Government of India, who was also present at the round table, were fruitful for industry. He added that FICCI values its partnership with CUTS International and IPE Global Ltd, which provided full support to the round table deliberations.

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