TPCI proposes to revamp SEZ policy to push agri exports

(150608) — NAVOTAS CITY, June 8, 2015 (Xinhua) — Workers unload sacks of imported rice from Vietnam at a port area in Navotas City, the Philippines, June 8, 2015. The Philippines agreed to import an initial 150,000 tons of rice from Vietnam to prevent a sudden price hike of rice due to the dry spell from the El Nino phenomenon. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) Trade promotion agency TPCI on Friday proposed several steps such as revamping the SEZ policy for food exports to boost the country’s agriculture imports.

According to TPCI Chairman Mohit Singla, these steps include 100 per cent pre-export certification along with strengthening of the last mile connectivity for agri produce to boost the country’s agriculture exports to $100 billion in the coming years.

In 2018-19, India exported $35 billion worth of agriculture products.

“India has huge potential in the food exports and global investors are looking at SEZs as one destination for investing,” Singla said.

“Due to the lack of incentives for value added F&B manufacturing and exports is inhibiting them to come to India. A foreign investor should be allowed to import raw material at zero duty and avail duty rebate proportionate to value addition.”

As per current data, exports from SEZs are growing at a faster rate than overall exports from the country.

In April-June 2019, even as overall export growth from India slowed down to 2 per cent to Rs 562,000 crore, exports from SEZs posted a robust 15 per cent growth to Rs 185,763 crore.

In addition, Singla said that the mandatory 100 per cent pre-export certification will create the necessary brand value for agriculture exports and is the best way forward towards the target of $100 billion.

The TPCI is organising the 3rd edition of F&B sourcing show — IndusFood — which will host business delegations from Denmark, China, Turkey, S Korea and Afghanistan.

Previously, the second edition of IndusFood saw on spot business deals worth $1.2 billion.

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