Taxing issues hamper ease of doing business: Nirmala Sitharaman

The conference noted an increase in services exports and ways to bring about double-digit growth in exports.

Manishika Miglani

Taxation is a vexing issue which hampers the very idea of ease of doing business which has led to the government taking systemic reforms to boost Indian trade, said Union Commerce Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman at an Assocham conference on “Strategies for double-digit growth in exports” held in New Delhi.

While bringing forth the challenges faced by the Indian export industry in different sectors, Sitharaman acknowledged logistics as a key concern challenging the industry.

She also highlighted regional barriers that countries need to discuss on the sidelines of events such as BRICS, as one of the significant components to strengthen exports in order to get access to newer markets. Citing one such example, she recommended that the Chinese open their markets to Indian products, which is not the case at the moment.  

She said that pharmaceuticals is one important area, where China wants more services to be available. “They want our drugs but unfortunately many of the permissions, certifications are not happening as quickly as they should.”

Shedding light on the measures taken by the government, she pin-pointed the revival of Inland waterways with the ministry constantly working to improve ports by introducing a combination of digital and human interface.

Listing various other measures that the government has taken, she mentioned that currency issues being faced by exporters have been sorted out. The government is also taking several measures to establish logistic hubs near sea ports with private sector participation to relieve the issue of receiving stocks at the airport, seaport and movement of goods into inland areas.

The conference also noted that India has not been focusing on services exports underlining the main reason behind the year-on-year decline in exports. The problem has been augmented with domestic issues becoming the prime reason for hindering exports in the country. The delegates attending the conference suggested the introduction of project exports in FTP as a way forward to increasing exports from India.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Oct 15, 2016 12:00 IST