Date: 25/06/2024

DGFT to launch comprehensive e-connect platform to address information  challenges faced by small exporters

Speaking at an interactive session of FIEO, attended by over 200 exporters of the Eastern Region here recently, Mr S. K. Sarangi, Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), said that the government will be shortly launching the e-connect portal to provide one-stop solutions to all the information needs of exporters regarding trade, tariff, SPS, TBT marketing intelligence etc. He said exports are vital for India and the government is developing an ecosystem of exports to help the country progress from a Developing to a Developed nation. He added that zero rating of exports is the policy and complete rebate on taxes is now available for exports.
He also made the point that the focus is on digitisation and simplification of processes and procedures to further facilitate Ease of Doing Business. To tap the enormous potential of e-commerce exports, tie-ups have been done with various marketing platforms and logistics companies to help exporters, particularly in Tier 2 and 3 cities. He added that since the top 70 of the over 700 districts account for more than 80% of exports, one has to push the other districts as well.
Earlier, Mr Ashwani Kumar, President, FIEO said that exports will remain buoyant this year and the aim is to take overall exports to over US$ 900 bn in 2024-25. He said that the Interest Equalization Scheme has immensely benefited the export sector and needs to be renewed at least for a period of 3 years. It is lapsing on June 30, 2024. Moreover, since the repo rate has already moved up from 4.4% to 6.5%, the subvention for MSMEs and others needs to be increased by 2% to the earlier position.
Mr Yogesh Gupta, Regional Chairman (ER), FIEO said that the Red Sea crisis has had a negative impact on exports and freight rates have increased significantly, reducing India’s competitiveness. The government should look at strategies to mitigate this challenge. He added that the Eastern region has a good volume of exports to Bangladesh and it will be of help if the Ministry, in joint meetings with Bangladesh, takes steps to address some of the infrastructure and operational issues that come in the way of timely release of goods on the Bangladeshi side.
In his concluding remarks, Dr Ajay Sahai, Director General & CEO, FIEO said that exporters should make themselves ready for rising protectionism and non-trade issues. Protectionist measures have increased from 9,000 to 35,000 in the last ten years, he pointed out. Environment and labour issues will impact global trade in this decade. He said that the EU and the UK have already rolled out the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. The EU has also notified deforestation regulations which may impact exports of leather, wooden furniture, wooden handicrafts and certain agricultural products. It will also be introducing Eco-design Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) from January 2026, which may affect India’s textile, footwear, furniture, mattresses, tyres, paints and engineering exports.
Indian global shipping line
Dr Sahai requested for 250%-300% tax deductions on R&D expenses as R&D is globally incentivised and our R&D expenditure is not even 1% of GDP. He also urged the country to develop a Global Shipping Line to make India ‘Atmanirbhar’ and save the huge foreign exchange spent on transport services, informed a release.
Source: Exim News Service: Kolkata, June 24