Foreign trade policy will come on March 31 after a long wait


After extending the duration of the existing Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) by 3 years, the Central Government is about to bring the much-awaited Foreign Trade Policy on 31 March. In this, the emphasis will be on developing districts as export centers, promoting e-commerce, ease of doing business. The current policy is valid till 31 March.

FTP is an overall policy strategy to promote exports of goods and services, which will have a blueprint for India’s long-term foreign trade strategy. A roadmap to achieve the target of $2 trillion exports of goods and services will also be presented.

So far, the Foreign Trade Policy used to have a 5-year strategy to encourage exports of goods from India, people related to this matter told BLiTZ that distance can now be made.

Given the rapid global changes and their impact on international business, the new policy is likely to have no time frame. Apart from this, general elections are also going to be held in a year. He said that setting a time limit of 5 years for the government in such a situation would probably not be the right strategy.

While the focus of the current policy was on incentive-driven schemes, the new policy is expected to take non-fiscal measures to make Indian exporters competitive. No new export promotion scheme is expected.

“Some steps may be taken in FTP for small (MSME) exporters, as they are the worst hit by any disruption,” said a person cited above. Schemes like developing districts as export centers can be given thrust through FTP. There could be a separate chapter on e-commerce and ease of doing business is also under consideration.

An exporter, on the condition of anonymity, said that some of the export promotion promises such as Refund of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) could find a place in the APTP. Apart from this, exporters also hope that steps can also be taken to reduce the logistics cost of exporters.

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) chairman Narendra Goenka said longstanding schemes like Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) are unlikely to be scrapped as it has helped a lot in capacity building.

Federation of Indian Export Organization (FIEO) director general and chief executive officer Ajay Sahai said, “We are hopeful that all the ongoing incentive schemes will continue.”

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