Anand Sharma Replaces K M Birla As New BoT Chairman
The Government has chosen the Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma, to replace Kumar Mangalam Birla as the chairman of the Board of Trade.
The BoT is the Government's chief advisory body on export- as well as import-related issues. "The Commerce & Industry Minister will be the Chairman of the Board of Trade (BOT)," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in a notification.
The BoT is the body which provides advice to the Government on policy measures for preparing and implementing both short- and long-term plans for increasing exports in the light of emerging national and international economic situations.
India's exports are low since October 2008 as the country became a victim of demand slump in the major economies including in the US and the European Union.
Among others, the Secretary in the Departments of Commerce and Revenue and Ministries of External Affairs and Textiles are members of the Board, which meets at least once every quarter.
The President or Secretary-General of national chambers of commerce such as the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, Confederation of Indian Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Assocham are ex-offico members of the BoT.
The government also nominates up to 25 persons including 10 trade experts to the BOT, which also commissions studies for boosting India's external trade.
The Commerce Ministry is likely to unveil the FTP next month. The five-year Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) of the previous government had come to an end in March; however, the provisions were extended till a new policy come into effect.
The FTP broadly spells out the segments of priority in external trade and also gives incentives and disincentives, depending on the country's needs.
After growing at over 30% in the first half of 2008-09, exports started contracting. The country managed to post exports worth USD 168.7 billion in the year, which is a meagre 3.4% over the previous fiscal.