Foreign Trade Policy to be hassle free; move to self-certification

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New Delhi, Jan 23 (UNI) Commerce Secretary G K Pillai today said the new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), which is on the anvil, will make exports hassle-free, including moving over to self-certifications from approvals from the manifold government agencies.

''The government will endeavour to simplify export procedures and trim export incentives with marginal or no utilisation in the new policy,'' Mr Pillai told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

''Our trade policy is complicated. This discourages our exporters. The focus should shift from getting a number of approvals from various government agencies to self-certification. The majority should not suffer for misdeeds of a handful of unscrupulous exporters'' Mr Pillai said.

He said the need of the hour is to cut the number of export incentives.

''We should have only meaningful incentives to promote the competitiveness of our exporters,'' he said.

Mr Pillai said the Krishnamurthy Committee will submit its recommendations to arrest the slowdown in exports from labour-intensive sectors.

The committee will submit its report by January 31 and suggest measures to deal with the impact of appreciating rupee on exports.

He underlined the importance of technology to make exports value-added.

Mr Pillai also called upon exporters to file correct returns as any discrepancy leads to misleading export figures of the country.

He said the government was committed to making electronic commerce a reality soon.

''Electronic Data Interface (EDI) will be operational by the end of this year. The entire export process will be electronic.

Exporters will have to deal with only one bank,'' Mr Pillai said.

In the background of changing global economic environment, Mr Pillai called for proper training of officials from trade, revenue and finance services to make them appreciate the needs of exporters.

He assured that the Commerce Ministry will take up the issue with the Finance Ministry.

Mr Pillai expressed concern at rising crude prices and import bill and asked for more exports for a better balance of payment situation.

UNI MP SBA BD1958

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