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India is committed to creating an environment of competition among districts for exports: PM

Modi said the government will not only set short term but also long term targets for boosting exports. However, unlike previous governments, it will also create detailed roadmaps for individual items to reach that target, achieve zero defect zero effect among manufacturers, and world class packaging of products.

June 23, 2022 / 11:49 AM IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

India is committed to creating a competitive environment for exports at a district level, as has already been created for states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said. Making districts the centres of export will not only improve trade flows but also foster innovation and growth, the PM has said.

Speaking at the inauguration of Niryat Bhawan, the new national headquarters of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Delhi, the PM said products from the districts of India will provide the next boost for India's exports and provide impetus to industrial growth in a decentralised manner nationwide.

Modi said the government will not only set short term but also long term targets for boosting exports. However, unlike previous governments, it will also create detailed roadmaps for individual items to reach that target, achieve zero defect zero effect among manufacturers, as well as world class packaging of products.

The PM also launched a portal to be run by the ministry called the National Import-Export Record for Yearly Analysis of Trade (Niryat). It will provide a single view platform to access and analyse India's trade flows across commodities and nations. For the first time, the portal will also provide a public database on exports from states.

Modi said the portal is a milestone in the government's aim to provide 'ease of access (to government). "The portal will help break down silos and help our industry take fast decisions. It will also ultimately connect the government's work on one district one export plan," Modi said.

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Rise in exports

Countries have graduated from developing to developed status only once exports have massively risen, Modi said. "You know how unprecedented the achievement of India reaching $630 billion worth of exports (services and merchandise) last year was," he added.

He referred to cotton and handloom exports rising by 55 percent in the last financial year. He also pointed out a long list of grassroot items such as green chillis from Nagaland, Burmese grapes from Assam, Mahua flowers from Chhattisgarh, PM Narendra Modi, Niryat Bhawan, and sweets from West Bengal making their way to premium international markets like Dubai, London, and Paris.

For the first time since 2014, India met the government's annual export target in FY22 (2021-22). The country crossed the crucial threshold of $420-billion annual merchandise export target.

A massive rise in oil prices, across-the-board uptick in global prices of industrial commodities, a resurgent agri-sector, and a higher share of manufactured goods were the main reasons behind the surge.

After being marked by lockdowns and restrictions, exports had started rising at the end of a difficult FY21. In the current financial year, they have risen every month till May. All major categories of exports have also shown consistent rise.

New building

"Earlier it was understood that a government SOP was to launch projects but not complete it. The inauguration of this building is a testament to the way we have changed this idea. The foundation stone laying ceremony of the building was done on 22 June 2018, and now on 23 June 2022, it is being dedicated to the people," Modi said.

The PM stressed that since the date of the foundation stone laying ceremony, as many as 32,000 unnecessary compliances have been removed, and orders worth Rs. 2.15 lakh have been made on the GeM platform, the number of mobile phone manufacturing units has doubled, while the number of fintech startups have risen above 2300 from just 500.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said the building was constructed at a cost lesser than the originally estimated Rs.213 crore. Standing on a 4.13 acre plot, the six-floor building will house more than a 1000 officials.

"This is also a fully digital building and has been constructed in line with the need to create a space that allows all official work to be done digitally," Giyal said. The Ministry said the building has parking space of 400 cars and has been certified as a green building that will save 20 percent of total energy.

The building stands close to the Rajpath area of the national capital. It is located near to the Vice President's official residence on a plot of land earlier owned by the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D, an erstwhile Department of the Ministry which has now been shut down. The DGS&D used to facilitate public procurement was long known as a hub of corruption and inefficiency.

Its authority workforce was transferred to the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal which is now the only unified digital portal for all government procurement in the country.

 
Subhayan Chakraborty has been regularly reporting on international trade, diplomacy and foreign policy, for the past 7 years. He has also extensively covered evolving industry issues and government policy. He was earlier with the Business Standard newspaper.
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