In a push towards cooperative federalism, 19 states are ready with export strategies prepared in consultation with the Centre, a senior official in the commerce ministry said. This development will pave way to boost India’s exports, he said, adding that timely identification of state-specific impediments towards exports would allow faster resolution. The Centre has assisted these states by sharing with them a template of the export policy document and involving organisations such as the FIEO and IIFT. These states account for more than 90% of the country’s exports. The initiative was launched to empower states in leveraging their strengths and work with the Centre to remove gray areas. A number of states such as Arunachal Pradesh were unable to come up with export policies as they have few items to offer at globally competitive rates. Not having direct access to sea also proved to be a disadvantage. At present, the Centre is assisting six such states to prepare export plans.
The Centre believes that having separate export policies will help states identify potential products as well as find out scope for adding values to products meant for exports. For instance, Madhya Pradesh is a leading producer of soya, which is in high demand in various countries. But the quality of soya demanded by these countries are often of high value, and so MP needs to channelise its investments towards adding value to soya it is currently producing.
Also, very often exporters face problems in meeting product standard requirements of importing countries. A case in point is shrimp. Shrimp produced in Kerala used to have high antibiotic content, and Japan had put a ban on the product and started importing from Vietnam. It was only after remedial measures were undertaken to produce antibiotic-free shrimp in Kerala that exports to Japan resumed. But by that time, Vietnam pipped India as the top shrimp exporter to Japan.
These issues would be better identified and taken care of by states if a separate export policy is in place.