Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal recently asked the industry to give feedback on non-tariff barriers in other countries so that the government can take appropriate measures. The minister said the Indian economy was on its path of revival, with robust foreign direct investment inflow into the country. FDI inflow during May was US$12.1 billion, up 203% against May 20 and 123% higher during the same period in 2019.
Goyal was addressing the top industry officials and lobby group to discuss measures to enhance and increase exports. The meeting came days after Goyal’s meeting with export promotion councils, amid the stiff target of exporting goods worth US$400 billion in the current fiscal. The target for overall exports —goods and services — is at US$2 trillion by 2030. “Merchandise exports for April 1 — August 14, 2021, is up by 71% over 2020-21 and up 23% over 2019-20,” he said.
He said India’s average applied import tariff dropped to 15% in 2020 from 17.6% in 2019, the sharpest annual fall in about a decade and a half. Besides, India’s applied tariffs are way below the bound rate — permissible limit under the WTO — of 50.8%, he said. According to the CII’s recommendation, the government must avoid hiking tariffs in at least those sectors where the cross-border global value chain operates, negotiate and operationalise FTAs with major economies to develop strong value chains between FTA partners, modernise port networks, improve hinterland connectivity and develop well-connected coastal manufacturing zone, among others.