The much-awaited mid-term review of India's Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-2020 is out. It covers steps needed to help exporters tide over the problems associated with the Goods and Services Tax. It also offers additional incentives to promote medium and small scale sectors and labour-intensive industries.
An annual revenue incentive of `4,567 crore for product exports, and `1,140 crore for services exports, may not be huge but sends the right signal. There has been a thrust on trade facilitation and trade across borders. This should help exports as well as imports. The original goal of achieving $900 billion exports by 2020, set two years ago, has not been revised, or re-emphasised. It might have been sensible, perhaps, to junk the target since exports declined from $310 billion in 2014/15 to $276 billion in 2016/17. The mid-term FTP alone cannot bring about any major change. The vision statement, though, is in the right direction.
Joe C. Mathew