Advisory Bodies to support International Trade

Board of Trade:

It was set up in 1989 with a view to provide an effective mechanism to maintain continuous dialogue with trade and industry in respect of major developments in the field of international Trade. The Commerce and industry Minister is Chairman of the Board of trade. The official membership includes Secretaries of the Ministries of Commerce and Industry. Finance (Revenue), External Affairs (ER), Textiles, Chairman of ITPO, Chairman /MD of ECGC, MD- Exim bank and Deputy Governor of reserve Bank of India. The non-official members are President of FICCI; ASSOCHAM, CII, FIEO, All India Handloom Weavers Marketing Co-operative Society, representatives of various Trade and industry sectors, media and other eminent personalities in the field of Export and Import Trade.

The broad terms of reference of the Board of Trade are as follows:

1. To advise the Government on Policy measures for preparation and implementation of both short and long term plans for increasing exports in the light of emerging national and international economic scenario.
2. To review export performance of various sectors, identify constraints and suggest measures to be taken both by Government and industry / trade consistent with the need to maximize export earnings ad restrict imports.
3. To examine the existing institutional framework for exports and suggest practical measures for reorganization/streamlining it with a view to ensuring coordinated and timely decision making.
4. To review the policy instrument, package of incentives and procedures for exports and suggest steps to rationalize and channel incentives to areas where they are most needed.

Export Promotion Board:

There is an Export Promotion Board under the Chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary to provide policy and infrastructural support through greater coordination among Ministers concerned for boosting the growth of exports. All Ministries directly connected with facilitating foreign trade are represented on this board by their Secretaries. This, however, includes Secretaries of Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion: Ministry of Textile; Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Surface Transport and others according to requirements of Inter-Ministerial coordination and to give the required impetus to the export sector as truly national priority activity.

Commodity Organizations:

A number of organizations have been established in the country with the objective of promoting and strengthening commodity specialization. More important among them are the Export Promotion Councils and the Commodity Boards.

Export Promotion Councils:

There are 19 Export Promotion Councils covering the following products: Apparels; Basic Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics; Chemicals and Allied Products; Carpets; Cashew; Cotton Textiles; Electronics & Computer Software; Engineering; Gems and Jewelry; handicrafts; Handlooms; Silk; Synthetic and Rayon Textiles; Sports Goods and Wool and Woolens. These councils are non-profit making limited companies registered under the Companies Act. The Ministry of Commerce provides necessary assistance in relation to their programs of work.

These Councils advise the government regarding current development in the export sector and measures necessary to facilitate future growth in exports, assist manufacturers and exporters to overcome the various constraints and extend to them the full range of services for the development of markets overseas. The Councils also perform certain regulatory functions as they have the power to de-register errant or defaulting exporters.

An idea of the functions of the Export Promotion Councils can be had from some of the important activities of the Engineering Export Promotion Council as mentioned below:

(i) to appraise the government of the exporters’ problems;
(ii) to keep its members posted with regard to trade enquiries and opportunities
(iii) To help in exploration of overseas markets and identification of items with export potential;
(iv) To render assistance on specific problems confronting individual exporters;
(v) To help resolve amicably disputes between exporters and importers of Indian engineering goods; and
(vi) To offer various facilities to engineering exporters in line with other exporting countries.