September 12, 2019
The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways, Piyush Goyal, chaired a meeting of the Board of Trade (BoT)
The meeting focussed on identifying opportunities for boosting exports and boost competitiveness of domestic manufacturing
Government will soon launch an export credit scheme particularly to support micro, small and medium enterprises
Easy accessibility of export credit has been a key concern for small businesses, a move that will provide a boost to foreign trade
The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways, Piyush Goyal, chaired a meeting of the Board of Trade (BoT) on September 12, and held a day-long interaction with the Industry and Agriculture Ministers and officials of various States, industry representatives, export promotion councils and officers of the economic and infrastructure ministries of the Central Government. The objective of the meeting was to identify opportunities for boosting exports, address all outstanding issues hindering them and improve the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing.
Addressing the meeting, Piyush Goyal mentioned that the government will come up with the contours of a vibrant programme soon, which will particularly support micro, small and medium enterprises. The scheme will cover forex credit, especially with regard to credit at affordable terms and in sufficient volume. The total exports of India crossed US$537 billion in 2018-19, with goods exports at an all-time high of US$331 billion and services exports at US$205 billion.
Easy accessibility of export credit for small exporters has been a key concern for small businesses. The government has zeroed in on specific measures to boost outbound trade. In June, Goyal had issued a statement that exporters should be able to take more export credit in foreign currency and the cap on export credit for banks at 2 per cent of the total loans distributed might also be relaxed. The Ministry has now asked the RBI to consider whether its foreign exchange reserves could be used for providing a line of credit for swap to good banks for this purpose. This will result in cheaper foreign currency loans.
Goyal urged attendees to help create a conducive environment for boosting exports and achieve the US$1 trillion mark in the next five years. He appealed for higher domestic production and enhancing the competitiveness within states so each district becomes an export hub which will add to India’s overall GDP. The role of the Board of Trade is to advise the Centre on policy measures connected to the Foreign Trade Policy and find ways to boost exports. It includes officials of various states, industry representatives, and export promotion councils.