The government has notified a new Board of Trade, a key advisory body to the Commerce and Industry Ministry that includes senior industry leaders and state government officials, and other stakeholders of India's foreign trade ecosystem.
The 29-member new Board of Trade has been constituted by merging the new board with the existing Council for Trade Development and Promotion (CTDP), a similar advisory body, a notification by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade announced on 12 July.
It includes Rajesh Gopinathan, CEO and Managing Director at Tata Consultancy Services; Sanjay Nayyar, Advisor at KKR India; and Om Prakash Mittal, Executive Member of RSS affiliate industry body Laghu Udyog Bharati. It also includes Laxmikumaran, Founder and Managing Partner of law firm Lakshmikumaran& Sridharan (L&S).
The new board has been created to accommodate a mix of large and small enterprises with sectoral and geographical distribution, sources said.
Defunct for long
The Board advises the government on policy measures connected with the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) in order to achieve the objectives of boosting India's trade. However, the body had been defunct for a long time with the last meeting having taken place in 2013, according to the Commerce Department website.
Instead, the Narendra Modi led government constituted the CTDP with effect from 3 July 2015, to take up the Board's erstwhile role. The CTDP had been created as a leaner and more efficient entity aimed at giving a boost to Centre-State relations. The latest rationale behind merging that with a new Board of Trade is not known at the moment.
The board has wide-ranging responsibilities spread across diverse areas. It will act to provide a platform to state governments for articulating state-oriented perspectives on Trade Policy while also allowing the Centre to apprise state governments about International developments affecting India’s trade potential and opportunities and prepare them to deal with the evolving situation.
It will also facilitate the implementation of District Export Hub program, help state Governments develop and pursue export strategies in line with the FTP and provide a platform for deliberation on the need for infrastructure relevant for promoting trade.