2nd reconstituted Board of Trade meeting chaired by Sitharaman
The Dollar Business Bureau
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday chaired the second reconstituted Board of Trade (BoT) meeting to have consultations with the industry on mid-term review of Foreign Trade Policy (FTP).
While addressing the meet, Sitharaman said that the Government is fully seized with the apprehensions of the exporters’ community and is involved in intensive inter-department discussions with the Department of Revenue and the Ministry of Finance about their concerns with regards to Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The Minister also directed the officials in the Department of Revenue, Department of Commerce and Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to consider all the matters properly for mid-term review of the FTP.
Representatives from Export Promotion Councils, Industry Associations, Commodity Boards and officials from several government departments and ministries attended the meeting.
Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, while welcoming the delegates to the BoT, stated that the export environment has witnessed positive growth during the past six months as an outcome of various initiatives and measures taken by the Department of Commerce.
She further said that the Department of Commerce has been in constantly in touch with the Revenue Department in ironing out various issues of the exporters with regards to the GST.
“On the suggestion of Commerce and Industry Minister, it is in the process of reviewing the FTP to align it with the GST roll out,” she added.
DGFT A.K. Bhalla, while addressing the meeting, said that the FTP’s mid-term review was launched on April 1, 2015 and is due on September 1, 2017. However, the same has been preponed on the instructions of Minister of Commerce so that the policy would be in line with the changes that are being brought about to the GST regime.
The industry representatives welcomed the key economic reforms started by the Government, especially the GST. However, they expressed concerns on some issues related to GST, particularly blocking of working capital because of refund instead of IGST exemption on the imports of raw material and capital goods for the purpose of export.