Ministry formulating plans for services sector to boost export: commerce secretary

The government is working with ministries to look at areas including regulatory framework, service standard and how to address gaps and bottlenecks to boost trade

The commerce ministry is working with different ministries to formulate separate plans for 12 services sector, including IT, tourism and logistics, with a view to boost growth in these segments, a top government official said. In February this year, the government approved an action plan for 12 ‘champion’ services sectors, including IT, tourism and hospitality, for realising their potential through the establishment of a Rs 5,000 crore dedicated fund.

Commerce secretary Rita Teaotia said the government is looking at each of these champion sectors specifically and working with the line ministries on that. In the plan, the government is looking at areas like “do we have the right regulatory framework for the growth of that sector?, do we have right service standards at place; what are the infrastructure gaps and how to address that or any other bottlenecks,” she told reporters here.

There is a plan that is being developed for each of these 12 champion sectors, she said, adding that the mechanics to use RS 5,000 crore fund is also in the final stage. She also said a committee is established under the chairmanship of cabinet secretary to review these plans. The 12 sectors include IT and ITeS, tourism and hospitality, medical value travel, transport and logistics, accounting and finance, audiovisual, legal, communication, construction and related engineering, environmental, financial and education.

Talking about the importance of trade, Teaotia said that the sector will push overall economic growth and job creation. To promote exports, she said the commerce ministry is working on several areas, including efficient logistics management, involving states, increasing international engagement, ways to increase the value addition and pushing MSME sector.

She said that two centres – Centre for Regional Trade and Center for International Investment Law – was set up as an independent think tank, which would support the ministry in terms of providing inputs and generating studies on regional trade. India’s exports dipped after a gap of four months in March. Exports contracted by 0.66 per cent to $ 29.11 billion due to negative growth in several key sectors.

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