Thursday, January 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Govt unveils export strategy
Tribune News Service


  • To achieve 1 per cent share ($80.48 billion) in world trade by 2006-07
  • A compound growth rate of 11.9 per cent for next 5 years needed
  • A total of 220 items identified for focussed trade
  • 15 key macro policy issues for the commodities identified
  • WTO compatible incentives and concessions for exporters planned
  • Action Committee under Commerce Secretary to implement strategy

New Delhi, January 30
The government today unveiled a medium-term export strategy that aims to capture at least 1 per cent of the global trade in the next five years or around $ 80.48 billion worth of exports by 2006-07.

Presenting the strategy, which coincides with the 10th Five-Year Plan, the Minister for Commerce and Industry, Mr Murasoli Maran, said to achieve the target India would have to achieve a compound growth rate of 11.9 per cent for the next five years.

The strategies for the medium term, which have been drawn on the experience of the earlier strategies and other experiences and on assessment of the changing global trade scenario indicates a heavy dose of protection and incentives for the export industry.

It also refers to more flexibility in labour policy by re-examining the role of the government in the labour markets.

Drawing from past experience where the devaluation of the rupee in the eighties and the nineties led to quantum jump in exports, Mr Maran spoke about the need for a policy for price competitiveness by maintaining appropriate Real Effective Exchange Rate of the rupee at appropriate level.

The technical strategy has identified 220 commodities for stepping up exports mainly to the country’s major trading partners such as the United States, European Union and Japan, which constitute 55 per cent of India’s exports.

The focus items are mainly from sectors like engineering, textiles, gems and jewellery, chemicals, agriculture and leather.

Mr Maran said even a 5 per cent growth in 47 of these items could lead to $ 18 billion more exports and 5 per cent growth in another 59 items could get additional $ 36 billion.

The 15 key macro policy issues identified for the commodities sector to boost trade includes an effective and responsive trade defence mechanism to provide protection against unfair trade practices, WTO compatible policies by providing non-actionable subsidies and supporting agriculture sector, effective tax rebate schemes to help exporters and enhancing export responsibility of state governments to boost exports.

“I want exports to be a people’s movement in India. The state governments have a big role to play in boosting exports”, Mr Maran said on the new policy.

Other issues include continuous evaluation of the FDI policy framework and procedural packages to promote exports, reducing transaction costs by EDI system and digital signatures, developing export infrastructure, forging strategic free trade agreements, export credit strategy in a WTO compatible way, developing the SSI export industry, expansion of market assistance programmes and giving a regional focus to other areas like Africa.

In addition to the strategic policy issues in the merchandise sector, the need to capitalise the opportunities in the services sector has been emphasised.

Mr Maran said an institutional mechanism was being set up to monitor the implementation of the strategy.

An Action Committee under the Commerce Secretary with the Economic Adviser as the nodal officer and including a core group of senior officers, representatives of major export promotion bodies and representatives from academia would ensure that resources were committed to achieve goals. A Market Intelligence Unit is proposed to be set up which would help the Action Committee.

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