India: Frame rubber policy at the earliest: Par panel asks Comm Min

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New Delhi, Aug 2 – A parliamentary panel has again recommended the commerce ministry to frame a national policy at the “earliest” to promote the sector.

is a strategic industrial raw material and can not be put on the same footing as other plantation crops, the action taken report tabled in the Rajya Sabha said today.

The committee is of the “considered opinion that the national rubber policy may be framed at the earliest,” the action taken report on issues related to the commerce ministry said.

Earlier also, the committee had recommended for the rubber policy.

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On this, the ministry has stated that no policy has been framed for any particular plantation crop, so it was decided not to make a separate policy for the commodity.

In the action taken report, the committee stated that it is not convinced with this justification.

It has also called for a comprehensive support framework for promoting (micro, small and medium enterprises) exports.

“…the MSME exporters lack information on many fronts and thus need to be educated of the global markets and areas where they have trade opportunities,” it said.

It asked the department of commerce to come up with a customised schemes or programmes for education and awareness of MSME about the aspects of foreign trade.

The sector contributes about 40 per cent in the country’s total exports.

Further, the committee criticised that the department has invested lot of resources in DGFT’s (directorate general of foreign trade) EDI (electronic data interface) system but it still has to become completely paperless.

On export performance, the report said that for 2016-17, Rs 2,640 crore was requested by the department of commerce for the interest subsidy scheme for exporters.

“However, in BE (budget estimate) 2017-18, only Rs 1,100 crore has been allocated under the scheme….(it) is not sufficient to meet the reimbursement claim for 2017-18.

“Additional requirement of funds, based on the requirement of funds by , would be sought from ministry of finance during RE (revised estimate/supplementary stage,” it added).

The department has also informed the committee that the government is examining various proposals received for expansion of the list of services under the Services Exports from Scheme (SEIS) in consultation with the concerned ministries. RR BAL

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