Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will chair the meeting of 70-member Board of Trade (BoT) tomorrow to discuss ways to boost exports. The meeting assumes significance as the ministry is reviewing the foreign trade policy (2015-20), which is expected to be released by the end of this month. It will be the second meeting of the BoT, a top advisory body on trade. The objective of the BoT is to have continuous discussion and consultation with trade and industry.
The BoT would advise the government on policy measures related to FTP in order to achieve the objective of boosting India's trade. The Board's last meeting was held in April 2016. The reconstituted BoT comprises of 19 members from industry and academia (non-official members); 31 heads of trade and industry associations (ex-officio members); and 20 top officials including 13 secretaries to government of India, Deputy Governor of RBI, Railway Board Chairman and National Highways Authority of India Chairman. Besides, the Director General of Foreign Trade is the member secretary of the Board. The non-official members include Apollo Tyres CMD Onkar Kanwar, Hero MotoCorp MD Pawan Munjal, ICICI Bank Ltd MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar and Biocon MD Kiran Majumdar-Shaw. The members would deliberate upon reviewing export performance of various sectors, identify constraints and suggest industry specific measures to optimise export earnings. The country's exports rose by 8.32 per cent to USD 24 billion in May, even as the trade deficit shot up to nearly 30-month high of USD 13.84 billion, mainly due to increase in gold imports.