Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that industry and exporters should not depend on government subsidies and instead focus on becoming more competitive. He said this while addressing members of the Board of Trade and the Council of Trade Development and Promotion. At the meeting, it was decided to take certain measures to promote exports, reduce import dependence and boost manufacturing.
After the over nine-hour long meeting, Goyal told reporters that participants were in tune with the government's thinking that they should work on increasing competitiveness instead of depending upon small subsidies.
"I found great acceptance of the government's thinking that we should move towards free trade and look how we can move out of the mindset of small subsidies," he said.
"My own experience in the last five years is that wherever we have done away with subsidies, industry and business have progressed, grown and prospered," Goyal said.
It was discussed that to make exports and industry competitive, the focus should be on improving infrastructure, promoting trade facilitation and making available credit at very competitive prices, "rather than fettering away the resources of the government into very small small schemes which rather than expanding trade, very often become inhibitors to bigger degree of trade", the minister said.
He said that participants welcomed the discussion about reducing dependency on subsidies.
On export credit, he said it was discussed in detail and a meeting has been called Friday to further deliberate on the matter.
The meeting would be attended by private sector banks, EXIM Bank, Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) and representatives of RBI.
A number of decisions were taken during the meeting, including expediting the investigations on imports under anti-dumping mechanism; steps to boost exports of organic produce; examining ways to rationalise the mandi fees across states; and identification of top 50 products, which constitute 60 per cent of India's import, and looking at possible ways to reduce import dependence.
The other decisions include fast disposal of claims by ECGC and putting in public domain the pending claims for the benefit of the industry; meetings with state export commissioners; and development of product specific clusters for 50 sectors with high manufacturing potential.
To leverage the railways real estate and use less utilised railway stations, the ministry will explore the possibility of setting up warehouses.