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Representational Image of Logistic Hub.
Representational Image of Logistic Hub.

The government is establishing logistic hubs near sea ports with private sector participation to cut down on challenges and move towards boosting double digit growth in exports, Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here on October 14.

“We are establishing logistic hubs nearer the sea ports. I think this would address immediate concerns that would be sustainable in the long term,” Sitharaman said while inaugurating industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) conference on “Strategies for double digit growth in exports.”

The hubs will relieve the issues around receiving stocks on the seaport and movement of goods inland.

Highlighting that a complete, comprehensive picture is being handled on the logistics front, she said that her ministry was engaging with railways to cut down costs.

“In 36 landing areas, the regional authorities representing the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade) office have just initiated a two-day intensive workshop on how to reach out to exporters and CBEC (Central Board of Excise and Customs) is also part of this exercise,” the minister said.

“We shall ensure that there shall not be a day wasted for import or export when there is need for an authority to come and certify or give clarification. For want of the presence of officers, trade shall not suffer, we shall attend to it,” she said.

Conceding that taxation was a key issue hampering exports’ growth, Sitharaman said: “Exporters cannot be taxed for exporting.”

Emphasising that simplification of taxation was the government’s top agenda, she said: “We are trying to simplify, since it involves many states, we are also making sure that we take them on board.”

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On the issue of trade imbalance with China, the minister said: “We have highlighted that the imbalance is not because of our industry’s lack of competitiveness, but access is not being made available to us.

“China has been requested that they have to be a lot more open to receive Indian institutions which go there to do business.”

She said that pharmaceuticals is one of the important areas, where China wants more services to be available.

“They want our drugs but unfortunately many of the permissions, certifications are not happening as quickly as they should,” she added.