Sunday, October 2nd, 2022

Report To Restructure Commerce Ministry Under Study; Idea Is To Set Up Trade Promotion Body: Piyush Goyal

The commerce ministry is in the process of studying in greater detail the report on its restructuring and there is a plan to set up a trade promotion body, Union minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday.

The ministry is working to redesign the Department of Commerce as India is targeting exports of goods and services to $2 trillion by 2030.

The restructuring rests on pillars like increasing India’s share in global trade, assuming leadership roles in multilateral organizations, creating 100 Indian brands as global champions and setting up economic zones in India to strengthen the manufacturing base and attract greater investments.

“We are in the process in the commerce ministry to redesign the structure of the ministry. And one of the ideas before us is to set up a trade promotion body, similar to Invest India, which will promote trade from India, for India,” he told reporters here.

Invest India, under the ministry, is an agency that facilitates investments in the country.

He added that the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which currently looks after exports, import related issues, will have certain other roles more like a facilitation unit and the trade promotion body will focus on promotion.

“Ideally, we would like to pattern it (trade promotion body) on the lines of Invest India with a flavor of independence, autonomy and like a private sector organization so that it can genuinely work in close partnership with business and industry worldwide,” Goyal said.

Last month the minister released the ‘Department of Commerce Restructuring Dossier’ in New Delhi.

“We have just received a report suggesting the new form of the ministry. And we now go through the process of studying the report in great detail and coming up with the overall plan for restructuring and rewriting the way commerce ministry functions,” he said.

The 14 volumes of the report have defined the role of each section within the department and lays down the expected outcomes and key performance indicators.

When asked about the new foreign trade policy, Goyal said that the ministry is working on the contours of the policy.

The existing policy (2015-20) will end on September 30. The new policy is expected to be released before that.

In the policy, the government announces support measures for both goods and services exporters.

From April to August 2022-23, exports registered a growth of 17.12 per cent to $192.59 billion. Imports during the five-month period of this fiscal grew by 45.64 per cent to $317.81 billion, according to preliminary data from the ministry.

The trade deficit widened to $125.22 billion in April-August this fiscal as against $53.78 billion in the same period last year. 

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