Workers unload crates of tomatoes from a truck in the New Market area of Kolkata. (Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg)

Foreign Trade Policy May Focus On Job Creation, Improving Trade Logistics

Job creation and improving trade logistics are likely to be key focus areas in the mid-term Foreign Trade Policy review which may also seek to address Goods and Services Tax- related concerns of exporters, government officials said.

The FTP review, to be unveiled later today, may accord special priority to improving logistics for trade to help bring down the costs, officials told PTI.

One key focus will be boosting employment creation in labour-intensive sectors like textiles and leather while addressing exporters' concerns on GST-related issues, they added.

They further said the FTP review may build upon the GST-related reforms, with the trade analytics division under the Directorate General of Foreign Trade helping with policy inputs.

Exporters have been voicing concerns about challenges on account of the GST implementation, with some even suggesting that they should be kept out of the ambit of the new indirect tax regime and the drawback refund be expedited as it was blocking their working capital.

The mid-term review was earlier supposed to be released before July 1, when GST was introduced. However, it was postponed as the government wanted to factor in exporters’ feedback regarding the new indirect tax regime.

Entering the negative terrain after more than a year, exports contracted by 1.12 percent in October, primarily due to liquidity problems faced by exporters following the GST rollout.