The government will set up a Trade Facilitation Council with representations from states and Union territories to mainstream them in the process of international trade and assist them with their infrastructural needs.
The move comes amid declining exports which fell 5.45 per cent to $25.1 billion in June, while imports fell 13.46 per cent to $35.4 billion.
Earlier, in the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 statement, the department of commerce had said that a council for trade development and promotion will be set up to help the states play a significant role in promoting exports and rationalising non-essential imports.
A senior government official said that the commerce secretary Rita Teaotia will meet state officials on Wednesday to discuss issues pertaining to the council, which will be chaired by commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and will have secretaries of key ministries and state ministers as its members. “The real work happens in states. While we are setting up the council, we will also ask and encourage them to formulate their own state trade policy,” the official added.
The essential issues that will be taken up with the state officials include infrastructure bottlenecks in terms of road connectivity, power supply, law and order and overall governance; regulatory environment; and local taxation-related matters particularly where refunds are involved.