Commerce ministry forms high-level advisory group on new foreign trade policy

The Commerce Ministry has constituted a 12-member high-level advisory group which would suggest ways to promote the country’s trade, an official said Thursday. 

It would look at areas including exchange rate management, impact of trade wars and strategy to manage consequences of unprecedented de-stabilising conflict oriented trade dynamics.

The panel would also examine prevailing trade dynamics, and suggest framework for India to engage in future international trade.
“The group on future foreign trade policy would suggest to boost India’s trade qualitatively and quantitatively,” the official said.

The panel would be headed by Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) part-time member Surjit Bhalla.

The other members include Principal Economic Adviser Sanjeev Sanyal, former commerce secretary Rajiv Kher and Quality Council of India Chairman Adil Zainulbhai.

In April 2015, the government released the foreign trade policy for 2015-20, which has provided a framework for increasing exports of goods and services.

The five-year policy provides guidelines for enhancing exports with the overall objective of pushing economic growth and generating employment.

In 2020, the Commerce Ministry will release the new policy for the next five years.
Under the policy, the government announces steps for exporters. Currently, the government has two schemes –merchandise and services export from India scheme.

However, the US has filed a dispute against India in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) stating that such schemes harm American companies by creating an uneven playing field.

Developed countries have maintained at different forums that as India has crossed the USD 1,000 threshold of per capita gross national income (GNI)  for three consecutive years, it is no longer eligible to give export subsidies.

Since 2011-12, India’s exports have been hovering at around USD 300 billion. During 2017-18, the shipments grew by about 10 per cent to USD 303 billion.

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