The government has decided to focus on six major areas, including SEZs, export credit and MSMEs, to boost exports which have been in the negative since December 2014, said the media report.
"Government is committed. The Prime Minister has been very keen that we engage with stakeholders where we can do small or big things to facilitate and help the exporters," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said while addressing the first meeting of the reconstituted 70-member Board of Trade.
Other focus areas would be addressing issues of EXIM Bank and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) and special attention to MSMEs, reported PTI.
"I should look forward to periodically engage and getting your inputs with the six different activities that I have suggested. We will be able to specifically move forward...It's going to be a vibrant Commerce Ministry with all your inputs taken up seriously," she said adding "we are going to be able to handhold and help the sectors which desperately need help".
The board meeting was attended by senior officials from various ministries, industry chambers, representatives of export promotion councils, corporates including ICICI Bank Ltd MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, Biocon MD Kiran Majumdar-Shaw, Dr Reddy's MD Satish Reddy.
During the meeting, industry raised the issue of minimum alternate tax on SEZs; problems in getting credit for MSMEs, impacts of free trade pacts, inverted duty structure, matters related to USFDA and extending line of credit to boost exports.
Sitharaman said that the first meeting of the newly constituted BoT was a constructive engagement and now "we shall work on compiling all the inputs.
"We have committed to improve the potential of SEZs wherein a lot of land pool is yet to be utilised. They contribute significantly to exports. In order to improve their capacity and make them more attractive for more people to come and set up their businesses in the SEZ...
"Without the DDT and MAT issues resolved, SEZs are still an attractive composition. Commerce Secretary will hold a meeting of SEZs with the officials of DEA, CBEC and industry," she said.
She also said that the ministry will hold a meeting with the Ambassadors, High Commissioners with their commercial and economic wings by involving the Ministry of External Affairs.
Further talking about Exim Bank and ECGC, she said they have raised specific issues.