Sharma Monday chaired a meeting with the members of Export Promotion Councils to discuss the measures to boost export and seek suggestions to remove the bottlenecks for the exporters.
After the meet Sharma assured a concerted effort to help the exporters and inform them about his meeting with the Finance Minister and forthcoming meeting with the Prime Minister in which he will take up the suggestions received during this consultation.
The exporters put forward their demands for expansion of incentive schemes and a smoother regime for various clearances. Sector-specific councils submitted their inputs.
Regarding the differential rate of credit, Sharma stressed that "Same needs to be provided for exporters as interest subvention still falls well short of global lending rates."
He further stated that it is crucial as Indian exporters in any eventuality have to deal with high transaction costs on account of infrastructure bottlenecks. He indicated that he will take it up when the meeting with Prime Ministers happens.
At the same time, efforts will be made to bring down transaction cost through Electronic Data Exchange. "24 x 7 custom clearance at ports will be pursued in a mission mode and senior Ministry officials will visit the major ports to expedite it at the earliest," he added.
Sharma also exhorted the export bodies to focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who account for sizeable chunk of our exports.
Furthermore, he said that exporters should rise up to the challenge and commensurate performance should be visible.