KAMAL NATH FOR EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF DUTY-NEUTRALISATION EXPORT
Date : 28 Dec 2004
Location : New Delhi
Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, today said that he was for making the duty-neutralisation and export promotion schemes more effective and was prepared to look into the bottlenecks faced by exporters, even as the bill on the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Bill was on the anvil. Addressing the Annual General Meeting session of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) on the theme of "Growth with Equity" here today, the Minister said that external trade could play a crucial role in stepping up India’s overall growth rate and that export-led growth could create 25 million jobs in the manufacturing sector by 2015.
He urged the industry to ensure the inclusiveness of the growth process by focusing on labour-intensive industries such as apparel and footwear as well as skill-based industries such as computer hardware and consumer industries, adding that India could become a major off-shoring base for this sector. Referring to the phase-out of MFA with effect from 1/1/2005, Shri Kamal Nath reiterated that dismantling of textile quotas would create a unique opportunity for India, besides which it was also expected that some multinational corporations (MNCs) would build base in India as an alternative to China. He also underlined India’s potential in the auto components, electrical and electronic products and specialty chemicals sectors.
He said the comprehensive Foreign Trade Policy announced earlier this year had set benchmark for reforms in the foreign trade sector with a clear strategy to make India a global hub for manufacturing, trading and services. Recognising that growth facilitates distributive justice, the Policy provided a special thrust on employment generation. "Growth of trade and employment is not possible without the active cooperation of business and export community", the Minister added.
In the multilateral fora, the government had taken several initiatives to protect the interests of the common man during the WTO negotiations and the highest priority was accorded to safeguard the farmers’ interests. These interests, Shri Kamal Nath said, were in the form of enhanced export opportunities and food, livelihood and security concerns. The scope of bilateral and regional trade agreements had also been expanded to include not only merchandise trade but also investment and trade in services. Further, through the various initiatives and interventions of the government, India’s exports were surging despite the appreciation of the rupee, Shri Kamal Nath said. "Growth of exports also depends on greater market access in other countries. This is sought to be achieved both through bilateral/regional trade agreements as well as agreements in the multilateral fora", he said.