Tap opportunities in post-COVID world to take exports to $400 bn, says PM Modi

Prime Minister also suggested the Indian Missions abroad to look at products in their respective countries that India can export.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called upon the industry and exporters to take advantage of opportunities created in the post-COVID scenario, explore new destinations and expand the export basket to achieve the ambitious target of $400 billion of exports.

Addressing Indian missions and Export Promotion Councils on the country’s target of $400 billion of merchandise exports this year, Modi said that four factors, including multifold increase in manufacturing, reduction in logistics cost, and international market for domestic goods, can help boost the country’s outbound shipments.

The Prime Minister also suggested the Indian Missions abroad to look at products in their respective countries that India can export.

At present, exports account for 20% of India’s GDP and “given the size of our economy, potential, manufacturing and base of services industry, there is a possibility” to increase this share.

In the post-Covid world, there is a debate on global supply chain and in that “we should use all our force” to tap new opportunities.

‘Decision to get rid of retro tax shows govt’s commitment, policy consistency’

A day after taking the bold decision to scrap all retrospective tax demands and refund money collected, Mr. Modi said the move shows his government’s commitment to providing businesses stability of investment climate and policy consistency.

Speaking at a meeting with the industry for boosting Indian exports, Mr. Modi said exporters know the importance of policy stability.

“The decision to abolish retrospective taxation shows government’s commitment (to providing stable investment regime) and consistency of policy,” he said.

His government had on Thursday introduced in the Lok Sabha a bill to scrap retrospective taxation that has spooked overseas investors and dented the reputation of Asia’s third-largest economy.

India lost high-profile arbitrations initiated by companies such as Vodafone Group Plc and Cairn Energy Plc against levy of back taxes and risked its assets abroad being seized to enforce such tribunal awards.

‘The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021’ was passed by the Lok Sabha on Friday and is expected to be taken up by the Rajya Sabha next week.

“Exporters doing business in various countries know the importance of stability,” Mr. Modi said, referring to the decision to abolish retrospective taxation.

The bill provides for the withdrawal of tax demands made on “indirect transfer of Indian assets if the transaction was undertaken before May 28, 2012 (i.e. the day the retrospective tax legislation came into being).” “It is also proposed to refund the amount paid in these cases without any interest thereon,” the bill said.

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