The Government of India is preparing a standard operating procedure that will be followed while entering into any new free trade agreement (FTA), Union minister of commerce and industry Suresh Prabhu has said. Besides the European Union, the Indian government is currently in discussion with the Canadian and Australian governments for FTA.
“When we talk of FTA there are always trade-offs…as a country we have to find how a trade-off can benefit us,” Prabhu said at an event organised by the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC).
Informing about the India-EU FTA talks, he said that he had a meeting with the EU minister to discuss various issues. He added that the EU is great market for India for apparel, which is an employment generating sector.
Speaking at the same event, textiles minister Smriti Irani said skilling would be among the focus area for the government and assured her ministry’s all support to garment manufacturers. “We are working on solving all the issues prevailing in the industry,” said Irani, adding that the ministry would work on every plight of the sector.
AEPC chairman Ashok Rajani said that exporters used to earlier receive 11.30 per cent incentives under Remission of State Levies (RoSL), but now it has come down to 6.5 per cent. He added that exporters are facing a crisis while shipping their products abroad, especially the EU, which levies 12 per cent duty on Indian cotton while Bangladeshi and Vietnamese cotton are exempt from any duties.