New Delhi: Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said the soon to be issued norms on foreign exchange export credits to exporters could be pegged below 4 per cent in order to boost exports.
Addressing the Board of Trade meeting here, which included many industry association representatives, Goyal expressed concern at the fall in export credit and said he had discussed the matter with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, as per an official statement.
"I am very concerned that export credits have fallen. I can assure you, very soon, we will come out with the contours of a vibrant programme to particularly support MSMEs and will, more importantly, make foreign exchange export credit available at very very competitive rates -- like at sub-4 per cent rates for forex credit," he said.
"All matters are on board. We will very soon come out with very robust guidelines. The RBI has been very supportive of this. The ECGC has come out with very practical solutions which will empower banks to lend more to the exports sector.
"The ECGC policy is also being revitalised and relooked at to make it more robust, to make it more comfortable for bankers to lend more and I am quite hopeful of the expansion of export credit in the days to come", he said.
"We are waiting for the Finance Minister to take a call on some of the issues that we have discussed. RBI was also very spontaneous to support us Commerce Ministry in the availability of export credit. Now, very shortly, we will be coming out with the contours of the discussions that have been finalised between RBI, Finance and Commerce Ministries," he added.
The RBI Deputy Governor BP Kanungo was present at the meeting.
State-run ECGC Ltd (formerly Export Credit Guarantee Corporation ) provides export credit insurance support to the country's exporters.
Goyal also said that global trade is facing many challenges.
"We are not going to be deterred by domestic issues. We have 2 per cent of global trade, have an opportunity to expand our footprint in markets and areas which are having problems among themselves. We have to encash this opportunity," he said.
"States, ministries and industries can encash that. We have to work towards making exports feasible, viable, competitive and capture the market that rightfully belonged to India. There are several products where we have ceded space to others and we can capture those quickly and this is the time to expand the scale," he added.
He urged the states and the Centre to work together in this regard.
According to Goyal, Alfonso mangoes are very popular abroad and so are particular products from Moradabad and Bengaluru. He said: "We have 30 million Indian diasporas abroad."
"We are working under very challenging circumstances where global trade is full of uncertainties, trade wars, challenges. And in such challenges, we have a choice -- to be despondent, global problems are overtaking our domestic capabilities, therefore, we become complacent and accept things as they are, or we decide that this is the best time and opportunity that we could ever have to expand our domestic capabilities and business and aim for bigger scale of operation," he said.
He also asked stakeholders to work towards bringing logistics costs down to 9 per cent to make exports more competitive. (IANS)