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Report to Restructure Commerce Ministry Under Study; Idea is to Set Up Trade Promotion Body: Goyal

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The commerce ministry is in the process of studying in greater detail the report on its restructuring and there is a plan to set up a trade promotion body, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday. The ministry is working to redesign the Department of Commerce as India is targeting exports of goods and services to USD 2 trillion by 2030.

The restructuring rests on pillars like increasing India’s share in global trade, assuming leadership roles in multilateral organisations, creating 100 Indian brands as global champions, and setting up economic zones in India to strengthen the manufacturing base and attract greater investments. “We are in the process in the commerce ministry to redesign the structure of the ministry. And one of the ideas before us is to set up a trade promotion body, similar to Invest India, which will promote trade from India, for India,” he told reporters here.

Invest India, under the ministry, is an agency which facilitates investments into the country. He added that the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which currently looks after exports, import related issues, will have certain other roles more like a facilitation unit and trade promotion body will focus on promotion.

“Ideally, we would like to pattern it (trade promotion body) on the lines of Invest India with a flavour of independence, autonomy and like a private sector organisation so that it can genuinely work in close partnership with business and industry worldwide,” Goyal said. Last month the minister released the ‘Department of Commerce Restructuring Dossier’ in New Delhi.

“We have just received a report suggesting the new form of the ministry. And we now go through the process of studying the report in great detail and coming up with the overall plan for restructuring and rewriting the way commerce ministry functions,” he said. The 14 volumes of the report has defined the role of each section within the department and lays down the expected outcomes and key performance indicators.

When asked about the new foreign trade policy, Goyal said that the ministry is working on the contours of the policy. The existing policy (2015-20) will end on September 30. The new policy is expected to be released before that.

In the policy, the government announces support measures for both goods and services exporters. During April-August 2022-23, exports registered a growth of 17.12 per cent to USD 192.59 billion. Imports during the five-month period of this fiscal grew by 45.64 per cent to USD 317.81 billion, according to a preliminary data of the ministry.

Trade deficit widened to USD 125.22 billion in April-August this fiscal as against USD 53.78 billion in the same period last year.

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