Trade policy may be revised after eight years from April 1

Commerce Secretary says FTP focusses on realising $1 tn of goods, services exports; Ministry has in concert with other ministries reviewed list of essential, non-essential items to help cut imports

The much-delayed reboot of India’s Foreign Trade Policy, which has been unchanged since 2015 and whose revision has been due for three years, may finally be announced by the end of this month, Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal said.

The Commerce Ministry had planned to announce a new trade policy last September but instead extended the ‘Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20’ by six more months till March 31.

“During these six months, we have looked at various aspects of that policy and undertaken a visioning exercise, keeping our aspirations to achieve $1 trillion of merchandise and services exports each,” Mr. Barthwal said. “So, within that framework, we have worked out the Foreign Trade Policy and we are expecting that it would be released by the end of the month.”

Pointing to the recent decline in the goods import bill, the official said this reflected the efforts steered by Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal to curb unnecessary imports.

“We have been working with all ministries and have shared the import figures for each product to examine if they are essential... imports,” Mr. Barthwal explained.