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India to impose non-tariff barriers on reciprocal basis: Piyush Goyal

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New Delhi, Jan 16 (PTI) India is taking a tough stand on non-tariff barriers being imposed on Indian exports by other countries and would also take similar measures on a reciprocal basis, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday.

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He asked the industry to share a list of such measures so that India can flag them with the respective nations.

Many of India's exports suffer due to such barriers which include cumbersome prior registration requirements, higher pesticide levels, and unreasonable domestic standards/rules in many countries.

On non-tariff barriers, "I am going tough on other countries. I have told them very categorically that if you will impose these barriers on us, we will put two. This will be reciprocal," he said.

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"Please inform us about these issues so that our negotiating position improves. Today we face issues because we do not have data of their (other countries) non-tariff barriers," he added.

Key Indian exports that routinely face high barriers include -- Chillies, Tea, Basmati Rice, Milk, Poultry, Bovine Meat, Fish, Chemicals Products to EU; Sesame Seed, Black Tiger Shrimps, Medicines, Apparels to Japan; Food, Meat, Fish, Dairy, Industrial Products to China; Shrimps to the US; and Bovine Meat to South Korea.

The minister was speaking at the conclusion of the Board of Trade (BoT) meeting here. The board, headed by the minister, has over 130 members. It has representatives from the Centre, state, exporters and industry associations.

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Goyal also sought suggestions from the industry on further improving ease of doing business, cutting down compliance and logistics costs, decriminalisation of minor offences, and ways to attract investments.

Besides, he asked them to look into good utilisation of free trade agreements (FTAs).

He urged the industry not to seek subsidy support and instead stand on their strengths and competitiveness.

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"We should come out from that mindset of subsidies," the minister said, adding states are playing a key role in promoting trade and industry.

Goyal also announced the initiation of work on Trade Connect ePlatform, an intermediary platform providing the facility to connect Indian exporters and entrepreneurs with various stakeholders in international trade will commence shortly.

The ePlatform is expected to provide facilitation for exporters, information on various regulations to access markets, sectors, export trends, and facility to address trade-related queries.

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The platform is likely to be ready in 3-4 months.

The BoT provides a platform to the Centre for appraising states and UTs about international developments affecting India's trade and the role of States and UTs in promoting exports.

It also remains an important mechanism for deliberations on trade related issues with industry bodies, associations, export promotion councils, and state/UT governments.

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Further Goyal said that the meeting is an opportunity to deliberate on the key issues including ways to leverage the FTAs, encourage startups/MSMEs to start exporting, and boost exports from the services sector.

The meeting focused on reviewing the export performance to achieve the USD 2 trillion export target by 2030, and the strategies and measures to be adopted in order to take forward the export growth.

The meeting was attended by various State Ministers and other senior officials of key line ministries and States, all major trade and industry bodies, Export Promotion Councils and industry associations. PTI RR MR

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