Govt unveils new Foreign Trade Policy to lift exports

The government on Wednesday unveiled its foreign trade policy (FTP) for five years from 2015 to 2020. Unveiling the policy, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the new policy would boost exports and create jobs while supporting the Centre’s ‘Make In India’ and ‘Digital India’ programmes. “Export obligation under the export promotion capital goods scheme will be reduced by 25% to promote domestic manufacturing.”

FTP would focus on defence, pharma, environment-friendly products and value-added exports, she said, adding: “The govt will continue to incentivise units located in special economic zones… With a focus on employment-creating sectors, the government will promote e-commerce.”

Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher said: “The five-year foreign trade policy will be reviewed after two-and-a-half years.”

Later in a series of tweets, Sitharaman said the latest FTP was introducing two new schemes — “Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and “Services Exports from India Scheme (SEIS). Under MEIS, a higher level of support would be provided to processed and packaged agricultural and food items. And, agricultural and village industry products would be supported across the globe at the rates of 3% and 5%.