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Incentives can be given to exporters, but they have to be justified, WTO compliant: Piyush Goyal

In the post-COVID era, he said, there is going to be perceptible change in the global supply-chains, and Indian industrialists and exporters should be looking to capture significant share in the world trade.

April 29, 2020 / 08:09 PM IST

Incentives can be given to exporters, but they have to be justified, reasonable and compliant with global trade rules, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.

He was interacting with representatives of different export promotion councils, including apparel, leather, gems and jewellery, pharma and engineering - through video conferencing.

The minister called upon exporters to identify their strengths, potentials and competitive advantages in specific sectors, and focus on harnessing them in the world markets.

In the post-COVID era, he said, there is going to be perceptible change in the global supply-chains, and Indian industrialists and exporters should be looking to capture significant share in the world trade.

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Goyal assured them that the government will be a pro-active supporter and facilitator in their efforts, and the Indian missions abroad can play an important role in that.

"Incentives can be given, but they have to be justified, reasonable, and WTO-compliant (World Trade organisation)," he said.

Goyal also said that the ministry is working on identifying the specific sectors which can be taken forward in the immediate future for the exports purpose.

"India is going to have a bumper Rabi harvest this season, and our storage facilities are overflowing. At the same time, there are news stories that there is shortage of food items in several countries. Many places are not having food of appropriate quality, taste and quantity, due to disruptions in the supply chains because of COVID-19 crisis," he said, adding this seems to be a good opportunity for export of agricultural and processed food items.

The minister exhorted the councils to undertake brainstorming sessions with its members, and come up with similar actionable and big-ticket ideas.

Exporters are demanding an incentive package from the government. Apparel exporters have requested the government to extend the interest subsidy scheme for a minimum of two years and at a rate of 5 per cent for all apparel exporters.

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman A Sakthivel said that given the extremely volatile and uncertain cash flow situation of the exporters, there is a need to continue with the interest subvention scheme, which expired on March 31.

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