1st Meeting of Council of Trade Development and Promotion held in New Delhi

1st   Meeting of Council of Trade Development and Promotion held in New Delhi - Consultations held for developing a Framework for making States Active partners in boosting India’s exports 

1st meeting of the Council for Trade Development and Promotion was held in the Capital today. Welcoming the Commerce & Industry Ministers from around 10 States and senior officials from other States, Union Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman expressed the hope that the Council will help in developing a framework for making the States active partners of this Ministry in boosting India’s exports.

The Commerce & Industry Minister said that the 1st meeting of the Council shall provide a platform to ensure a continuous dialogue with the State Governments and UTs for creating an enabling environment conducive to International trade.

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman asked the State Governments to give inputs for creating facility for testing, certification, trace-back, packaging and labelling. She advised the States to enhance their co-operation with Central Agencies for setting up common facilities like testing labs, training institutes as well as packaging and storage support to industry.

The Commerce Minister told the States that there was a need to diversify India’s services exports basket by enabling more sectors and to reach more markets. Other areas like Medical tourism, nursing and healthcare, education, audio-visual media also afford an excellent potential which can be harnessed.

Highlighting the measures taken for facilitating Ease of Doing Business, the Commerce Minister said that the number of mandatory documents required has been reduced. to 3 for export and 4 for imports as against the earlier requirements of 7 documents for exports and 10 for imports.

She requested all the States to consider organizing bimonthly meetings with the exporters in their States to sort out their infrastructure and tax related issues.

The State representatives thereafter submitted their suggestions and gave feedback on measures to remove roadblocks in improving the exports from the States.

The Karnataka Industry & Trade Minister Shri R.V.Deshpande underscored the importance of upgrading Railway connectivity & doubling lines, upgrading minor ports and enhancing their connectivity with hinterland. He also requested for upgrading selected State Road as National Highways and their maintenance. He gave specific suggestions for giving HS-Code for Perfumed Agarbathis and Rose Onions grown in Kolar/Chikaballapur Districts of Karnataka. He also requested for upgradation of Hubli airport as an international airport. Shri Deshpande also observed that imposition of MAT is hindering the growth of SEZs. He also sought changes in the Ease of Doing Business stating that the rankings should be linked to implementation and should be more practical that should reflect the performance of the State.

Siddeque Ahmod, the Minister of Industries and Commerce from Assam, requested for several measures for improving road links and road connectivity with Bangladesh as well as transit facilities with Bangladesh. He also requested for warehousing facilities for tea.

Industries Minister from Himachal Pradesh Shri Mukesh Agnihotri, requested Centre’s help for rail connectivity and also for restoring the special package for Himachal Pradesh. He also sought action on the Chandigarh-Baddi railway line for which MOU has already been signed.

Shri Madan Mohan Mittal, Commerce Minister from Punjab sought package in health for the State considering that it had to suffer for about 15 years on account of terrorism in the State.

The Industry Minister from Rajasthan, Shri Gajendra Singh Khimsar suggested that a separate export promotion council could be set up for dimensional stone. He also requested for establishment of Revenue Laboratory at Jaipur so that the delay in sending export consignments could be shortened.

Other States also gave specific suggestions on their respective areas of concern. In particular, most of the States highlighted the importance for restoring the ASIDE schemes.

The Apex trade associations FICCI, ASSOCHAM and CII gave their presentations and suggestions for making gains amidst a challenging world economic scenario.

Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) also gave a presentation on the recent trends in Indian trade scenario and role of States in trade promotion.

The Commerce Minister briefed the media after the meeting was over. She summed up the suggestions from the State Governments under three broad parameters including strengthening of infrastructure, benefits to exporters and restoring the facility of ASIDE. The Commerce Minister said that the important initiatives taken by the respective State Govts were also shared amongst themselves and with the Centre and this will help in improving the strategy being followed by the respective States for increase in exports. She said that the Ministry will give specific replies to specific suggestions that have been given by the State representatives in the Council meeting. 

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