Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said as per feedback received from the industry, exports of certain products such as pharmaceuticals, telecom instruments, tea, coffee, and marine goods from India are likely to be affected due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
He added that the Department of Commerce is apprised of the present situation and holding regular consultation with all stakeholders to ensure availability of essential imports.
A more precise implication of the post-war scenario can be assessed only after the situation stabilises, he said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. "As per the feedback received from the industry, exports of some products from India are likely to be affected including pharmaceuticals, telecom instruments, tea, coffee, marine products, etc," Goyal said.
He was replying to questions about the likely impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on India's trade with the two countries and whether the Centre is apprised of the present business scenario in the light of the war. Major items of export from India to Russia are pharmaceuticals, telecom instruments, iron and steel, tea and chemicals, while imports include petroleum, pearl and semi-precious stones, coal, fertilisers and vegetable oils. India's exports to Ukraine include pharmaceuticals, telecom instruments, groundnut, ceramic, iron and steel, while imports comprise vegetable oils, fertilisers, inorganic chemicals, plastic and plywood and allied products.
Goyal added that as both Ukraine and Russia are major exporters of wheat with more than 25 per cent share in global trade, disruption of exports from these countries provides India an opportunity to increase its outbound shipments of the crop.
In a separate reply, the minister said as part of the consultative process to formulate a new Foreign Trade Policy, various meetings with stakeholders were held and all the suggestions have been taken on record for further examination.
"A separate Foreign Trade Policy cell was created to coordinate with various officials in formulation of the Foreign Trade Policy," he said.
He also informed that export of agri products (including dairy and dairy products) has increased from USD 32.662 billion in April-Jan 2021 to USD 40.873 billion in April-Jan 2022, a growth of 25.14 per cent.
Replying to a question on the rubber sector, Goyal said to remove certain archaic provisions, create a conducive environment for ease of doing business and make a world class rubber industry, the government is considering modifying the existing Rubber Act, 1947. "In this regard, a draft Bill – Rubber (Promotion and Development) Bill 2022 – has been put up…for wider consultation and for seeking comments/ suggestions from public/ stakeholders till April 9, 2022.
"As on March 10, 477 stakeholders and the public have submitted their suggestions on draft Bill including some suggestions to not introduce new Rubber (Promotion and Development) Bill, 2022," he said.
The government of Kerala has suggested modifications in some provisions of the draft rubber bill and the draft Spices (Promotion and Development) Bill 2022. In the draft spices bill, suggestions include limiting production schemes only to cardamom; apprehensions on the validity of the registration of owners of cardamom estates being done by the state government; provision for the Centre to consult Spices Board with regard to import and export of spices; addition of a section to prohibit/control import of spices; and to revoke the Cardamom (Licensing & Marketing) Rules, 1987. "All suggestions received from stakeholders, including the Government of Kerala, and the public will be taken into account before finalizing the Bills," the minister said.