Dr. Sonia Sethi, Additional Director General of Foreign Trade, Mumbai being felicitated by Vijay Kalantari, Vice Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai at the Open House Meet organized by the WTC Mumbai last week.
At a time when India’s merchandise export has started growing in June 2016 after a consecutive decline for 18 months, the World Trade Centre Mumbai and All India Association of Industries at the WTC complex organised an open house meet with Dr. Sonia Sethi, IAS, Additional Director General of Foreign Trade.
Addressing the meet, Dr Sethi reassured the micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector that her office is working to improve governance and transparency with a time-bound schedule of services to ensure exports pick up in the coming months. “It has been just two months that I have taken over and my team is pulling up its socks on all issues faced by industry and the potential entrants in the MSME segment. The MSME clusters are our priority in export promotion,” she told a packed audience that had braved heavy rains to listen to her and exchange their queries.
As per the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020, India’s exports have to jump from $465.9 billion to $900 billion by 2020 – i.e. from a share from 2% to 3.5%.
The DGFT is the apex body for implementation of foreign trade policy with its four zonal and 33 regional offices. The office of additional DGFT western region caters to almost 40% of export-import related applications of India.
Suggestions from the audience included the need for DGFT to locate the 80 mn MSMEs in India and their proposed classification based on the 1,200 odd sectors. This, many felt, was needed for cluster management and would make them globally competitive.
The DGFT now has a robust export obligation monitoring system and has been monitoring cases on a daily basis through a dynamic dashboard and claimed that there is negligible pendency in Import Export Code (IEC)/ Merchandise Export Incentive Scheme (MEIS) applications.
Earlier Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, WTC Mumbai pointed out that in the changing world scenario, exporters in India must look for new markets in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. “There is a new euphoria of growth in India and such discussions can only clear issues between the industry and the government. Dr Sethi has been always proactive and is known to take fast decisions..”