Sign FTAs with US, EU for helping domestic exporters: Parliamentary panel to govt
The government should resolve its differences and sign free-trade agreements with the US and the EU to help domestic exporters, a parliamentary panel report has said.
The parliamentary standing committee on commerce, chaired by YSR Congress leader Vijaysai Reddy, submitted the report to the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Venkaiah Naidu, where it expressed concern that India’s exports contracted from 2019-20, registering a decline of (-) 15.73 per cent in 2020.
The panel underlined that the Indian exporters are at a disadvantage in the US and the European markets while competing with other exporting nations because of the absence of FTAs with these countries.
The committee felt that India needs to step up its efforts in export promotion, expand its export baskets and enter new markets to recover from its current slump and increase its share in global exports.
The committee said the commerce department should iron out the issues that blocked the signing of FTAs with leading trade partners and enter into trade agreements that will benefit the country while balancing the interests of the domestic market with that of the exporters.
The panel also expressed concern that the share of rail freight vis-a-vis road was only 35 per cent whereas the trend was reversed in developed countries. The panel recommended the railways ministry to undertake a detailed study on the reason for the low share and try to increase its share in freight traffic.