Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Commerce Minister is confident that the interest subsidy scheme launched by the government last year would improve exports. Indian exports are in the negative zone since 2014.
Elaborating about the success of the scheme she stated that the scheme has found favour with exporters as the amount given to RBI has been completely utilised.
To ensure that exporters benefit from the scheme on time, the Minister said that the Finance Ministry will be releasing the next instalment.
The scheme she claimed will prove helpful to exporters when it comes to facing troubled waters.
The scheme came into being in November 2015 due to the continuous downward slide in exports. Under the scheme, exporters with a financial implication of about Rs 2,700 crore were eligible for 3 percent interest subsidy scheme.
April was the 17th straight month that exports had fallen, it dipped to 6.74% to USD 20.5 billion. Significant fall in petroleum and engineering products shipments due to poor global demand was identified as one of the major reasons.
One of the other initiatives taken by the government to render exports viable is to cut down the transaction cost for exporters by bringing down the number of documents required for export and import to just 3 each. Also, reducing cost and saving time for traders is the WTO trade facilitation agreement.
While briefing reports present about the measures taken by her ministry in the last two years, Sitharaman stated that Indian farmers’ interest was safeguarded through India’s tough stand in the WTO Nairobi meet.
Level playing field has been obtained for farmers. They were at disadvantage because of the export subsidies given by many developed countries and after Nairobi “we have achieved the goal”, she said.
“Advanced countries will have to withdraw every subsidy that they were providing and therefore India’s farmers now stand a better chance competing internationally and enjoy a level playing field,” she said.
Talking about the Doha Development Agenda, Sitharaman said that India insisted that the leftover agenda such as the reduction of overall subsidies by the developed countries should be achieved.
When it comes to offering minimum support price to farmers in India, she said that were no threats.