NEW DELHI: Minister for commerce and industries Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday said he is looking at measures to boost ex ports as it will also rev up the manufacturing sector in the “shortest possible time”.He said the ministry will take up the issue of GST refunds for exporters and put together an agriculture export policy as it will help tackle farmer distress in times of oversupply and also encourage shipments from the country .
“Exports to GDP ratio has to rise… We are trying to work out what is to be done to promote exports in the shortest possible time, which includes issues coming up because of GST,” Prabhu told reporters. The ministry is expected to announce incentives in the review of the foreign trade policy , scheduled to be released next month. On GST, exporters have stated that the new indirect tax regime would block working capital worth over Rs 1.85 lakh crore annually with the government as they now have to pay the tax first and then seek refund. Earlier, they were exempted from payment of taxes.
The minister said domestic investments by the private sector have not increased considerably and one of the reasons for that is inadequate capacity utilisation. “Unless domestic demand picks up… exports can fill in that gap,” he added.