Commerce minister addresses export councils

The Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Shri Piyush Goyal on March 27 held a video meeting with representatives of various Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) from across the country

March 27, 2020

Minister Goyal assured the Export and Import groups that the Government of India will try to be accommodative with reasonable demands, and come out with practical outcomes

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade has launched help desk to assist with COVID-19 related export/import issues along with the Invest India Business Immunity Platform

COVID-19 has claimed more than 83,000 lives between the first week of December 2019 and that of April 2020. Around 1.5 million people have so far contracted the disease

The pandemic has disrupted human and goods traffic globally and is expected to cost the global economy more than US$1 trillion in 2020, bringing unprecedented challenges

The Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Shri Piyush Goyal on March 27 held a video meeting with representatives of various Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) from across the country. The call was aimed at assessing the impact of COVID-19 and the related lockdown on the country and get their feedback and suggestions in ameliorating the situation. The Minister of State for Commerce & Industry Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Commerce Secretary Shri Anup Wadhawan, Director General of DGFT Shri Amit Yadav were among those present in the meeting. The EPCs apprised of the impact of the pandemic on their activities and businesses and made a range of suggestions to overcome the hardships.

COVID-19 has claimed more than 83,000 lives between the first week of December 2019 and that of April 2020. Around 1.5 million people have so far contracted the disease in over 180 countries. With a cure believed to be 12-18 months away, the disease is expected to spread rapidly. This has disrupted human and goods traffic globally and is expected to cost the global economy over US$1 trillion in 2020. In the meeting, Minister Goyal said that export-import was a key part of the economy, but at the same time, the lockdown was necessary for the safety and health of 1.3 billion Indians. So far around 165 people have died in India, and a nationwide lockdown has been enforced to stop the spread of the disease.

Minister Goyal said that a fine balance would need to be maintained, and solutions found to reduce the difficulties. He said that the Government has been ahead of the curve in recent times, as noticed in the recent announcements made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor. He assured the Export and Import groups that the Government will try to be accommodative with their reasonable demands, and come out with practical outcomes. Additionally, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has launched a help desk to assist with COVID-19 related export/import issues. The Government is committed to minimising the impact of the pandemic on the economy. 

The Government has also launched the Invest India Business Immunity Platform. The platform, hosted on the Invest India website, is designed to be a comprehensive resource to help businesses and investors get real-time updates on India’s active response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The organizations which took part in the video conference included FIEO, AEPC, SRTEPC, GJEPC, CLE, CEPC, Shefexil, Pharmexcil, Electronics & Software EPC, Services EPC, Silk EPC, EEPC, EPCH, Project EPC, Texprocil, Telecom EPC, Cashew EPC, Plastic EPC, Sports Goods EPC, Capexcil, Chemexcil, EPC for EOU & SEZ, Wool & Woollen EPC, HEPC and IOPEC