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Relook at export-oriented SEZ, says FICCI survey

Identify products for exports, says economists


Identify products for exports, says economists



The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) survey has suggested a relook at the functioning of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) which would provide a boost to exports.

The survey was conducted during October/November 2018 among economists belonging to the industry, banking and financial services sectors on the economic scenario.

Efforts must be taken to enhance the functioning of such zones to provide a boost to exports with focus upon addressing domestic bottlenecks.

The participants emphasised the need for promoting revenue generating activities such as improving exports and overall production levels.

This could be achieved by making efforts to identify potential products for exports from each state by the central government and improving overall infrastructure requirement.

Economists felt that the economy is still in the transition phase after the introduction of goods and services tax (GST) and that management of state finances will improve manifold once GST stabilises.

Economists noted the government initiated many important structural reforms viz. GST, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, Power Sector Reforms, Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act and Jam Trinity for financial inclusion. But they said: “we need to continue with our focus on execution.”

Apart from these, “there is a need to urgently focus on several other areas. Reforms in the factor markets (such as land and labour) still need to be addressed.”

This gains more importance amidst the fact that India is eyeing to be a global manufacturing hub through the ‘Make in India’ scheme.

“The agriculture sector, too, is in the need for urgent and fast paced reforms, especially at the state level,” they said.

They underlined the attention required for exports, calling for each state to be given mandatory targets of export growth in the products and services that the respective state “has a comparative advantage vis-a-vis other major competing states/nations”.

The states should also be fully supported to help create the right ecosystem for promoting the identified industries. This will go a long way in creating a competitive environment within the country.

Initiatives must also be taken to preserve and enrich the natural resources of the country. This becomes even more important amidst the occurrences of frequent drought and flood conditions in the country and climate change becoming a real problem.

A proper water management policy is the need of the hour to reduce the impact of such calamities. Preservation efforts for resources like minerals, water, petroleum must also be made through policies for better and secured growth of the country, said the survey participants.

Energy reforms are the immediate need in the country.

“Economists believed that the government must continue with reforms on the social side including health, education. This will ensure empowerment of people at all levels and create a healthy, empowered and knowledge driven workforce,” they said.

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