In her first open house meet with MSMEs, Dr Sonia Sethi addresses the woes of exporters

Mumbai, August 5, 2016: At a time when India’s merchandise export has started growing in June 2016 after a consecutive decline for 18 months, the World Trade Center Mumbai and All India Association of Industries at the WTC complex organised an open house meet with Dr Sonia Sethi, IAS, Additional Director General of Foreign Trade.

Addressing the meet, Dr Sethi reassured the micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector that her office is working to improve governance and transparency with a time-bound schedule of services to ensure exports pick up in the coming months. “It has been just two months that I have taken over and my team is pulling up its socks on all issues faced by industry and the potential entrants in the MSME segment. The MSME clusters are our priority in export promotion,” she told a packed audience that had braved heavy rains to listen to her and exchange their queries.

Dr. Sonia Sethi, Additional Director General of Foreign Trade, Mumbai felicitated by Mr. Vijay Kalantari, Vice Chairman, World Trade Center Mumbai in the Open House Meet organized jointly by the WTC Mumbai & AIAI.

As per the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020, India’s exports have to jump from US$465.9 billion to US$ 900 billion by 2020 – i.e. from a share from 2% to 3.5%. The DGFT is the apex body for implementation of foreign trade policy with its four zonal and 33 regional offices. The office of additional DGFT western region caters to almost 40% of export-import related applications of India.

Dr Sethi’s team made presentations on IEC, MEIS, SEIS applications, advance authorization norms and the crucial export promotion capital goods scheme. Exporters were informed about the common errors they make in applications and how they can rectify the same in future.

The DGFT Mumbai office now has a robust export obligation monitoring system and has been monitoring cases on a daily basis through a dynamic dashboard and claimed that there is negligible pendency in Import Export Code (IEC)/ Merchandise Export Incentive Scheme (MEIS) applications. A sustained focus on efficiency, integrity and accountability is being maintained to serve the exporter community and help them get the Foreign Trade Policy benefits on time.

Dr Sethi also assured the exporters that she would soon convene a meeting of the Committee on Quality Complaints and Trade Disputes. “We have a comprehensive basket of deliverables and our effort is to facilitate and resolve difficulties faced by exporters. Large part of our systems is now online,” she explained.

The office of Additional DGFT, Mumbai, is planning two important events, one in Thane (September) and the other in Mumbai (November), for the MSME clusters in Maharashtra in 2016-17. The MSME sector focus in Thane is electrical, iron, steel and machine tools, while the Mumbai event will focus on Pharmaceuticals.

Earlier Mr Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, WTC Mumbai pointed out that in the changing world scenario, exporters in India must look for new markets in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. “There is a new euphoria of growth in India and such discussions can only clear issues between the industry and the government. Dr Sethi has been always proactive and is known to take fast decisions. The WTC Mumbai would be happy to organise such sessions in the future.”