Foreign trade policy extended by Six months: Piyush Goyal

NEW DELHI:  The long-awaited Foreign Trade Policy, which was supposed to be released by the end of September, has been extended by six months, and the government has also extended the current Foreign Trade Policy (2015–20) by another six months, until March 2023.  The move is in response to the unstable geopolitical and economic environment around the world as well as currency fluctuations and export promotion council requests.

The launch of the new foreign trade policy was extended by six months due to  demand from the majority of export promotion councils across India, said Piyush Goyal, minister of commerce and industry, who made this clarification at the AGM of the Services Export Promotion Council.

In India, there are 40 to 50 export promotion councils (EPCs), and many of them requested the delay and the alignment of the strategy with the fiscal year,  Goyal said.

He clarified that the decision to extend the current FTP by six months was not made with the input of EPCs, saying, "As far as the ministry is concerned, Foreign Trade Policy is ready and if all EPCs would have been on the same page I would have launched the policy tomorrow, in fact, I can launch it tomorrow, but as requested by EPCs the new policy is deferred."

The surprising decision to extend the current FTP came after a recent Board of Trade meeting called by the Commerce & Industry Ministry examined in detail several potential features of the proposed new FTP (2022-27). There have been rumours that the new FTP lacks fiscal incentives to support exports. However, the policy focus was to cut transaction costs while boosting e-commerce, IT-enablement, export hubs, and ease of trade, the minister said.

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