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Jun 27, 1997


Export promotion board will be set up within a week: PM

Prime Minister I K Gujral says a high-powered export promotion board would be set up within a week

This was decided at a five-hour meeting chaired by the prime minister and attended by Commerce Minister Dr B B Ramaiah and representatives of the Indian industry. Headed by the Cabinet secretary, the board will include secretaries of commerce, finance, textiles, industry, surface transport and electronics as members.

The prime minister said he would hold such meetings at frequent intervals to sort out export-related problems. The meeting also decided that all pending customs notifications in light of the new export-import policy, which commenced on April 1, will be issued within a week.

The prime minister agreed to set up a single-window clearance system for export processing zones in order to improve exports from the zones. Gujral said a number of time-bound policy initiatives would be taken for the textile industries which account for a substantial part of India's exports. Disclosing that a technology upgradation fund would be set up for the textile industries, he directed the finance ministry to report back to him on the proposal by July 10.

Textile Minister R L Jalappa said his ministry had taken up the proposal with both the Planning Commission and the finance ministry.

Steps are being taken to improve availability of gold for exports. More banks will also make gold available for export purposes, the meeting decided.

Priority will be given to simplification and streamlining of customs procedures particularly through the electronic data system. The system is already operational at Delhi. It would become operational in all major ports and the dry port of Delhi by the end of this year. All other ports will be covered within 18 months.

Modvat and drawback anomalies raised by exporters would be sorted out within three weeks, an official spokesman told mediapersons after the meeting.

The commerce minister said preliminary assessment indicates that export performance in May 1997 had picked up. This is heartening considering the slump witnessed in April 1997.

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