MANGALURU, JAN 4:
The Union Minister of State for Commerce, Nirmala Sitharaman, has allayed the fears of rubber and arecanut growers with regard to import and other related issues.
Delivering a talk on ‘Commerce policy for future India’, organized by Mangaluru Initiatives for Nationalist Dialogue (MIND) in Mangaluru on Saturday evening, she said that one of the major steps taken by her Ministry is in terms of import of natural rubber under the advance licensing scheme.
When import was made of natural rubber under advance licensing scheme any importer was allowed to import and use it for 18 months and after export it.
With the intention of ensuring that this import is definitely exported, the Government reduced the period of this advance licensing import from 18 months to six months. That means that the rubber will go out of the country within six months.
She said that the Government is also looking at how to support the small farmers.
On the long-term plans for rubber, she said the Government is looking at producing enough rubber reducing the need to import. Non-traditional rubber growing areas such as north-east are being looked for growing rubber, she said.
On arecanut, she said the Government would look at their problems in a comprehensive manner rather than considering it as a commodity that has health implications.
Stating that she had three meetings with the delegations of arecanut growers, Sitharaman said the growers had expressed apprehensions over the import of arecanut affecting the interest of farmers in the country.
She said questions were raised with the countries that are exporting arecanut in much larger quantities than they grow. These anomalies have been raised with countries that export arecanut to India. The Government has taken a decision that areca growers’ concerns will have to be looked into in a comprehensive manner, she said.
Addressing presspersons earlier, she said the Government wanted the new foreign trade policy to be different from the earlier ones. Though she did not want to set a time-frame for the announcement of the new foreign trade policy, it will be announced sometime during the Union Budget.
‘Make in India’ programme of the Government speaks about the entrepreneurship skills that the country has. She said that the Government is looking at various ways of engaging with the State governments. Without any discrimination the Government wants to work with entire ‘Team India’. It is the backbone of everything that the Government is doing, she said.
Highlighting the importance of small and medium entrepreneurs in the development of the country, she said more steps would be initiated to end the licence raj in the country.
– The Hindu
MANGALURU, JAN 4: