Of late, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has been exhorting Indian manufacturers to shed inhibitions over the country signing free trade and economic partnership agreements with other countries and regional blocs. Goyal's assertions are beginning to make sense now, especially after the latest round of stimulus measures announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The biggest worry of industry, becoming uncompetitive in the wake of increased imports from other FTA partners, has been partially taken care of by the decision to lower corporate tax. At the current rate (15 per cent for new industries), companies can price products competitively in the home market, and try to be part of the global value chain by exporting it to FTA partners. What needs to be seen is whether the government will take the FTA plunge now or not.