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Focus is on SEZ revival, export credit: Nirmala Sitharaman.

Date: 07-04-2016
Subject: Focus is on SEZ revival, export credit: Nirmala Sitharaman
NEW DELHI: Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said the government is open to handhold export sectors desperately in need of help, especially the revival of special economic zones (SEZs) and making it easier for industry to do business in them.

At the first meeting of the reconstituted Board of Trade, the minister also stated the importance of the external affairs ministry in negotiating India's free-trade agreements.

The commerce department has also identified four measures to boost exports, which have declined for the past 15 months due to lacklustre global demand. These steps are according priority sector status for export credit, boosting shipments from micro, small and medium enterprises, promoting organic produce and removing hurdles faced by EXIM Bank and the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation.

"I agree there are sectors facing severe difficulty... We are open to handhold sectors desperately in need of help. We are putting SMEs on top of what we are doing," Sitharaman said after the meeting of the 70-member Board of Trade that was attended by ICICI Bank managing director Chanda Kochhar, Biocon MD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Dr Reddy's Laboratories chairman Satish Reddy and TVS Motor Company chairman Venu Srinivasan.

The minister said the government will work on improving the potential of SEZs and make it easier to do business in these zones as they are sitting on huge land banks.

While pushing for export credit to qualify as priority sector lending, the minister said she would take up the matter with finance ministry. The department will discuss with the RBI and the finance ministry issues being faced by EXIM Bank and the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation regarding financial flexibility.

Source : economictimes.indiatimes.com

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