Commerce Minister launched a new scheme to address needs of exporters

Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) on 15 March 2017. Speaking on the occasion, Commerce Minister Sitharaman said that the scheme aims to address the needs of the exporters and added that the focus is not just on creating infrastructure but to make sure it is professionally run and sustained.

An empowered committee will be set up to periodically review the progress of the approved projects in the scheme. The committee will also take the required steps to ensure that the objectives of the scheme are achieved. The committee chaired by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia would also look over the proposals of the implementing agencies for funding.

Explaining the scheme further, Rita Teaotia stated that some of the biggest cost incurred by the exporters is on account of the absence of proper dedicated infrastructure, whether it is testing or handling facilities or cold storages at ports.

Hence she added that TIES, which would focus on projects like checkpoints, first and last mile connectivity, border haats and integrated check posts, would help in ensuring smoother movement in export cargo and better quality standards and certification. The main objective of the scheme is to enhance export competitiveness by bridging the gap in export infrastructure, which has not been addressed by any other scheme.

Under this scheme, all central and state agencies including Commodities Boards, SEZ authorities, Export Promotion Councils and Apex Trade Bodies recognised under the EXIM policy of Government of India will be eligible for financial support.

The funding would be in form of grant-in-aid and in normal cases it would not be more than the equity being funded by the implementing agency or 50% of the total equity in the project. However, in cases of projects located in the North Eastern states or Himalayan states including Jammu & Kashmir, the grant will go up to 80% of the total equity.

Five per cent of the grant approved would be used for appraisal, review and monitoring. The scheme would be implemented from 1 April 2017 with a total budgetary allocation of Rs 600 crore for three years and an annual outlay of Rs 200 crore. The cost of projects under TIES would be equally shared by the Centre and the states.

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