Exports at $185 bn till Sept 21, FTP extended till next March: Piyush Goyal

Commerce and industry minister on Monday said that India has exported goods worth $185 billion since the beginning of the financial year, according to latest data collated by the government.

“Export figures have hit $185 billion as of September 21. These figures are very encouraging and I compliment the exporters community for this,” Goyal said at an event organised by the Federation of India Export Organizations (FIEO). The current fiscal’s export target is $400 billion.

The minister also said that the current (FTP) is slated to be extended by another six months–31 March, 2022. FTP is an elaborate policy guideline and strategy to promote goods and services export, while addressing domestic and global constraints.

The present policy came into force on April 1, 2015 and was valid for five years. However, a new FTP was deferred and the existing policy was extended till March 31, 2021 as businesses grappled with the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Earlier this year, the policy extended for the second time and this time till September 30, 2021.

“We are notifying it today evening or tomorrow…we have decided to extend the policy until March 31 (2022)…and in the (new) financial year, we can start with the new policy,” the minister said, adding that the government hopes that the Covid-19 issues will be resolved by that time.

Business Standard had on Monday reported that officials aware of the matter said the government wants to continue with the existing (FTP) for another six months and may take some more time till the government finalises a fresh support or any incentive-based scheme for exporters, which is crucial at a time when circumstances have changed since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The minister added that the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) will also discuss the issue of high prices charged by shipping companies with the concerned government department. “I have asked DGFT to talk to the shipping ministry so that we can have predetermined rates like we have in costumes (rate),” he said.

Goyal also inaugurated a trade facilitation portal that was developed by FIEO to help exporters deal with challenges due to acute shortage of containers. The portal will bring exporters and logistics service providers (LSPs) on a single platform.

A Sakthivel, President FIEO said that over 1,800 exporters and over 300 service providers boarded the portal during the soft launch.

“The portal offers a value proposition to all stakeholders. Exporters can post details of their container requirements directly to service providers for providing their best quotes, enabling exporters to chat, negotiate and finalize business,” Sakthivel said.

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