Governor Syed Ahmed and chief minister Arjun Munda relish kebabs during an iftar party at Raj Bhavan in Ranchi on Wednesday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi, Aug. 8: Chief minister Arjun Munda today inaugurated an office of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), a first step in boosting exports from Jharkhand which has a negligible presence on the national map.
It will be the fourth office of the federation — an autonomous entity of the Union ministry of commerce — in eastern India after Calcutta, Bhubaneswar and the Northeast (Guwahati).
The FIEO office will provide registration-cum-membership certificates to exporters of Jharkhand and Bihar and interface with various authorities and agencies connected with exports such as the director-general of foreign trade, banks, commercial taxes and certification agencies.
Speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration, FIEO director-general and chief executive officer Ajay Sahai told The Telegraph Jharkhand has much potential in exporting handicrafts, automobile and auto components, engineering products, textile bags, rice, precious and semi-precious stones and jewellery.
“There are some exports from the state but they are mainly routed through Calcutta and Mumbai. The rough figures of exports from Jharkhand is pegged at about Rs 4,000 crore, including iron ore in which several restrictions have been imposed by the Centre and the state, given the fact that it’s a valuable natural resource. The FIEO local chapter will help the local exporters in many ways,” he added.
Sahai said that workshops would be held in Jamshedpur and Bokaro, besides a few other districts, to bring awareness levels on a par with Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, which together account for three-fourth of India’s export figures.
Eastern India’s share of exports is only around 10 per cent whereas the governments wanted to raise it to 20 per cent by 2020, he added.
Chief minister Arjun Munda said that economic vision was need of the hour.
“The export figures are minuscule in Jharkhand regarding which even reliable statistics aren’t available. We should discourage exports of raw materials, but there is much potential in exports of silk and handicrafts, automobile and a few other sectors,” said Munda, who returned from Delhi today.
Additional director-general of foreign trade D.K. Singh said the Centre was working towards increasing exports, adding the FIEO chapter would help the purpose and also reduce the transaction costs.