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Year End Review: Ministry of Commerce and Industry

  • IASbaba
  • December 31, 2021
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GOVERNANCE/ ECONOMY

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors
  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources

Year End Review: Ministry of Commerce and Industry

  1. Export Target of US$ 400 billion for Merchandise in 2021-22
  2. Export Performance
    1. India’s exports have been performing extremely well in last 8 months with exports exceeding USD 30 billion for the 8th consecutive month in the current financial year.
    2. The cumulative value of exports during April-November 2021 has been estimated at USD 263.57 Billion compared to USD 174.16 Billion during April-November 2020, which is a positive growth of 51.34 percent. 
    3. India’s services exports remained relatively resilient to the pandemic which impacted world trade in commercial services in 2020. India’s share in world commercial services exports has increased from 3.5% in 2019 to 4.1% in 2020, leading to improvement of India’s rank in leading exporters of commercial services from 8th to 7th in 2020.
  3. Ease of Doing Business
    1. In order to provide policy stability during the pandemic period, Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20 was extended for the year 2021-22 i.e. up to 31st March 2022.
    2. Exemption from Integrated Goods & Service Tax and Compensation Cess under Advance Authorizations (AA)/ EPCG, EOU scheme extended up to 31st March 2022.
    3. IT systems of DGFT revamped with API based message exchange with community partners on export promotion schemes.
    4. The common eCoO portal has been extended for issuing non-preferential certificates of origin also.
  4. Implementation of RoDTEP Scheme
    1. The Scheme creates a mechanism for reimbursement of taxes/ duties/ levies, which are currently not being refunded under any other mechanism, at the central, state and local level, but which are incurred in the process of manufacture and distribution of exported products. 
    2. Major component of such taxes is electricity duty and VAT on fuels used in transportation / distribution.
    3. The RoDTEP Scheme operates with an end to end digitization and no separate application is required to be filed to claim RoDTEP benefits.
  5. Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) launched: Aims to promote export of services from India by providing duty scrip credit for eligible exports. Under the scheme, service providers, located in India, would be rewarded under the SEIS scheme, for all eligible export of services from India.
  6. India and Mauritius signed the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA)
    1. First trade Agreement signed by India with a country in Africa. 
    2. The Agreement is a limited agreement, which will cover Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural Persons, Telecom, Financial services, Customs Procedures and Cooperation in other Areas.
    3. Provides for an institutional mechanism to encourage and improve trade between the two countries. 
    4. Covers 310 export items for India. 
    5. As regards trade in services, Indian service providers will have access to around 115 sub-sectors from the 11 broad service sectors.
  7. India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) Negotiations
    1. Both sides reiterated the importance of the India-UAE CEPA and its potential to not only expand economic and investment opportunities, but mark a new phase of cooperation and collaboration 
    2. This new strategic economic agreement is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods to US$ 100 billion within five years of the signed agreement and increase trade in services to US$ 15 billion.
  8. India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) Negotiations: The key negotiating subjects are Trade in Goods, Services, Investment, Rules of Origin, Customs Facilitation, Legal and Institutional issues etc.
  9. BRICS Trade Fair 2021 during 16th to 18th August 2021 (Virtual): BRICS Trade Fair, an initiative of the Department of Commerce, witnessed the participation of over 5000 delegates, and the event had over 2500 pre-fixed B2B meetings. The Trade Fair also saw over 8000 Virtual booth visits by the business delegates, which attributed to over 2000 business interactions.
  10. India Pavilion at World Expo 2020 at Dubai
    1. This is the first expo that was held in MEASA (Middle East, Africa and South Asia) region. 
    2. The main theme of World Expo 2020 is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. The main theme is further branched into three sub themes of the Expo viz. – Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. 
    3. World Expo, Dubai is expected to herald the revival of global economy post the COVID-19 pandemic with participation of more than 190 countries and 25 million expected visitors.
    4. India Pavilion at the Dubai Expo has turned out to be a huge draw, registering another landmark by receiving more than six lakh visitors in just 83 days of its opening.
  11. Government e-Marketplace (GeM): Open and Transparent Procurement
    1. A total 31.8 Lakh vendors have been onboarded on GeM, out of which 7.39 Lakh are MSMEs, which constitute about 23% of the vendor base and contribute over 57% of the cumulative Gross Merchandise Value on GeM.
    2. GeM has drastically brought down waiting time and prices for buyers and ensured timely payments to the sellers. It has enabled various modes of procurement as prescribed in GFR and has made available various analytical tools to facilitate buyers to make informed decision while making procurement.
    3. GeM has created a Unified Procurement System for the country in line with the vision of the Government, will consolidate the scattered vendor bases on publishing portals onto GeM leading to advantages of economies of scale, better price discovery and dissemination of best practices in procurement.
  12. National Logistics Policy
    1. National Logistics Policy has been developed on the supply and demand side and takes a comprehensive view of the sector defining specific action points with the key objective of matching and improving upon global standards in logistics efficiency and to integrate with Global supply chains.
    2. A 75-point National Logistics Reform Action Plan has also been prepared with specific actionable items on the policy.
    3. The Policy targets to reduce the cost of logistics by about 5% over the next 5 years, achieving a ranking in top 25 of major global logistics-related performance indices, and encourage environmentally sustainable, inclusive and future ready logistics.
  13. PM Gati Shakti NMP: PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan for multi-modal infrastructure connectivity to Economic Zones which is an Integrated Plan depicting Economic zones and Multi-modal Connectivity Infrastructure on a GIS Platform was launched to holistically integrate individual interventions of various Ministries/Departments with a national perspective and provide coordinated IT enabled Map based approach to planning, operations and monitoring of projects.
  14. The Logistics Performance Index (LPI) released every two years by the World Bank is one of the most widely referred reports used to assess logistics performance of countries. On the index, India was ranked 44 out of 160 countries in 2018 vis-à-vis rank of 54 in 2014 (most recent study conducted till date is in 2018).
  15. Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES): Launched with the objective to enhance export competitiveness by supporting development of export linked infrastructure that can be utilized by multiple exporters. 
  16. Agri Export Policy (AEP)
    1. Five States and one UT have finalized the State specific Action Plan viz. Mizoram, 
    2. APEDA signed an MoU with NAFED for strengthening the export linkage of Farmer Cooperatives.
    3. In pursuance to the series of interactions held with Amazon Web Services (AWS) team, the approval was accorded for executing two pilot projects for the proposals submitted on Blockchain traceability for GI Mangoes (Alphonso) and Digital assaying at APEDA packhouses.
    4. Blockchain Technology in GrapeNet: APEDA implemented Blockchain solution as part of its GrapeNet traceability system. The Blockchain technology helped tracking all the activities and steps involved in the grape lifecycle, right from farm allocation to the delivery of grapes.
  17. Rubber Census: Rubber Board is conducting nationwide census on rubber by using digitalized mobile application, ‘RUBAC’, developed in association with Digital University, Kerala, with a view to ascertain the area under rubber, new-planted area, re-planted area, the age profile of trees, discarded area over the years, level of adoption of new clones, size of holdings and details of tappers etc. 
  18. Collaborative Project for rubber plantation development in NE region:
    1. A project for supporting development of new rubber plantations in North East and improving quality of processed forms of rubber with a contribution of Rs.1,100 crore from major tyre companies, represented by Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA)
    2. The plan is to develop 2,00,000 ha of rubber plantations in North East in five years. 

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