PMO to review draft agriculture export policy

NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister’s Office will soon consider the draft agriculture export policy, which aims to double India’s farm exports to more than $60 billion by 2022.

The commerce department is finalising a cabinet note on the policy that calls for a stable and predictable farm exports regime with limited state interference, reform of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act and streamlining of mandi fees along with liberalisation of land leasing norms including contract farming.

The department of commerce had issued a draft policy in March this year.

India’s share in global exports of agriculture products rose from 1% a few years ago to 2.2% in 2016. It is currently ranked ninth among exporters globally.

“A meeting was scheduled in PMO early this week but is now postponed. We are preparing a note on the policy for the cabinet’s consideration,” said an official aware of the matter. Another official said that the cabinet note is likely to detail the subsidies required to implement the policy that aims to make India one of the top 10 exporters of agricultural products by boosting high-value and value-added agricultural exports, focusing on perishables and promoting novel, indigenous, organic, ethnic traditional and non-traditional categories.

It also seeks to provide an institutional mechanism for tackling market access barriers and deal with sanitary and phytosanitary issues.

The policy intends to provide an assurance that processed agricultural and organic products will not be brought under the ambit of curbs such as minimum export prices, export duties or export bans, even if curbs are imposed on primary nor non-organic agricultural products.

Significantly, it also talks about initiating consultations among the relevant stakeholders to identify commodities essential from food security perspective and barring these, the effort would be to ensure that other products would not be brought under export restriction.

[ Sep 08, 2018]