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Exporters Ask Government to Permit Operation of Factories during Covid-19 Pandemic

Nikita Arya
Nikita Arya

Amid the spread of Coronavirus, the downturn of the economy has impacted the country’s export-import as many factories are not operational. In the light of the events, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) asked the government to extend the pre- and post-shipment credit to a minimum of 180-270 days, waiver of PF/ESI charges for all industry from March to June 2020 as the industry will be responsible for the wage cost during the period of lockdown with no or less business affecting their liquidity. 

A lot of requests including operation of their factories with a minimum workforce, subsidy on interest rates, and extension of incentive schemes are being demanded by the exporters are in order to deal with the coronavirus crisis.  

During a video conference meeting called by Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, these demands were raised. The minister addressed representatives from various export promotion councils (EPCs) from across the country and assessed together with the impact of coronavirus and the lockdown situation in the country. 


The councils intimated the impact of the Coronavirus on export and import and discussed a lot of points as to how these hardships can be overcome. “Export-import is an important activity of the country, and at the same time, the lockdown was necessary for the safety and health of 130 crore Indians. So a fine balance has to be maintained and solutions found to reduce the difficulties,” suggested Goyal. 

The suggestions put up in the conference will be taken up and action will be at the earliest, as told by the Minister. Giving assurance to the councils, he said that the government would try to be accommodative with their demands, and come out with outcomes. 

Ajay Sahai, Director General, FIEO, said, “Our loss will be China’s gain which is using all means to gain greater market access with increased incentives.” During the video conference, many recommendations were made including the extension of the Foreign Trade Policy by one year, the extension of the interest subsidy scheme, amnesty scheme for the regularization of default by payment of only customs duty without interest and penalty to reduce the burden on industry among others. 

The organizations that were part of the video conference were from different sectors including leather, apparel, sports, electronics, telecom, silk, gems and jewelry, cashew, and plastics. The major sectors of exports were organic and inorganic chemicals, textiles, engineering goods, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and petroleum products. 

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