Commerce minister asks EPCs to aim at $450-$500 billion exports next year

Union minister of commerce and industry, consumer affairs, food and public distribution and Textiles, Piyush Goyal has urged the country’s export promotion councils (EPCs) to target $450-$500 billion exports next year.

Addressing a mid-term review meeting with heads of various export promotion councils, through video conferencing on Saturday, Goyal directed discussions with all stakeholders before the new Foreign Trade Policy is finalised.
Expressing satisfaction that exports from the country have bounced back touching $197 billion in the first half of FY2021-22, Goyal said with 48 per cent targeted volumes achieved, “we are on the right track.”
“Our exporters have made all of us Indians proud today,” said Goyal, setting the bar higher, “if we can aim to scale $450-$500 billion exports next year.”
The minister said engineering goods have more potential and textile exports should aim for $100 billion. “You must have seen we are coming out with schemes,” Goyal said, referring to the various PLI schemes announced by the government recently.
Goyal said the government is negotiating FTAs with various countries and blocs, including the UK, UAE, Oman, Australia, Canada, EU, Russia and Southern African Customs Union (SACU) comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. 
“Equitable, fair and balanced and to the benefit of the Indian exporters, you will have to raise whatever are your concerns,” Goyal said, adding mostly issues are related to market access rather than tariffs. 
Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil his most ambitions Infrastructure Development vision, ‘Gati Shakti’ programme on Ashtami, the day of Goddess Durga representing Shakti, viz, 13 October, Goyal invited the heads of export councils to join the event by VC and participate with infrastructure issues of related export sectors. The National Logistics Policy has also been unveiled recently and exporters should flag their concerns, he added.
On the issue of high global prices of polymers and uniform application of environment laws, the input for the plastics sector, Goyal assured that the commerce department will take it up with the environment ministry on allowing import of virgin plastics scrap and related issues.
Urging export promotion councils to identify and name exporters whose products fail to meet international standards and are often rejected due to inferior quality, the minister said the EPCs have not identified specific exporters hurting the reputation of ‘Made in India’ products in the world markets despite repeated reminders. “Quality will define the future of our exports,” he quipped.
Speaking on the occasion, MoS for commerce and industry, Anupriya Patel, assured exporters of speedy redressal of their concerns with other ministries that were hampering exports growth. Secretary, Department of Commerce, BVR Subrahmanyam and other senior officials participated in the deliberations.