Centre keen to have real-time data for every commodity : sitharaman
“Absence of real-time data” is the biggest handicap in the present day decision-making process. Policy decisions taken without real-time data or involving industry stakeholders will prove to be disastrous, observed Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman.
Stating that the Centre is keen to have real-time data for every commodity, Sitharaman urged the industry to share ground level information and data.
“There is huge export potential not just for cotton or yarn but every commodity, be it spices, jute or tea. The Government is prepared to hear ground level issues and address them,” she said, addressing a meeting of textile entrepreneurs at the Le Meridien hotel here.
“Ease of doing business is what we are aiming to do,” she said, inviting industry watchers to share their grievances, besides assuring them of taking up the issues at the December 29 meeting with the Prime Minister and Finance Minister in New Delhi.
“I understand your plight,” she said, after watching a presentation that highlighted the complexity of doing business with Bangladesh.
Admitting that there are a lot of issues that would have to be addressed, she said: “We are at the cusp of change. If we want big ticket reforms, we will have to tackle the smaller issues first, for the landing platform is full of unwanted growth”. Addressing the media, she said the Government would enable and facilitate ‘Make in India’ by looking at aspects which are important for ease of doing business. “We will look at aspects which need to be regulated, controlled, and remove archaic rules and regulations, simplify applications for registering, and so on.”
“The Government has identified 25 sectors for ‘Make in India’ and these will be in priority for ease of doing business.”
Foreign trade policy
To a query on foreign trade policy, Sitharaman said: “I do not want to engage in date speculation, but a majority of the work is done. It has a lot of financial commitment which will have to be made part of the policy… At least six States have finalised their export strategy and three States have appointed export commissioners. We are now in the process of digitising trade data. This work will be over soon.”
On the status of foreign trade agreements (FTAs), she said: “We have reviewed both — SEZs and FTAs — to understand if Indian exporters have benefited. In the SEZs, the non-processing area has been proposed to be opened up for mixed use. This is expected to be in place within the next six months to a year.”
The Government will be introducing the Exporter-Importer code, which would be available online from January 1. “This is part of good governance initiative and is aimed at simplifying the procedure,” she said.