Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, suggested greater flow of credit to the export sector, especially MSMEs, in order to generate more employment, say media reports. He added that banks may be asked to encourage flow of credit to the export sector. The statement was made while observing the declining trend of export credit in recent months.
The minister and government officials from commerce and revenue department met exporters to discuss the problems faced by the sector. He made the statement during this meeting, which also comprised senior officers from Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and representatives of Federation of Indian Export Organisations, Pharmexcil, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Engineering Exports Promotion Council and Chemexcil.
Representatives of the export sector highlighted the problems of pre-import under advance authorisation and requested the Commerce Minister to bring the notification deleting the condition with retrospective effect. Suresh Prabhu asked DGFT and Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, to look into export credit so that genuine exporters are not harassed. Other issues discussed included caution listing of exporters, third party/third country exports and list of items to be traded with Iran.
Prabhu also recommended taking Input Tax Credit (ITC) refunds online to ensure that the export refund becomes seamless, transparent and accountable. At the meeting, industry representatives acknowledged the support provided by the government in extending Interest Equalisation Scheme to merchant exporters in order to boost exports of MSME units.
On January 8, Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the first national workshop on the agri-export policy, where he exhorted all State governments to set up a nodal agency dedicated for the implementation of the policy. The minister said that this is the first time that an agri-export policy has been formulated and it is comprehensive involving all related sectors like R&D, clusters, logistics, and transportation.