The government today launched a Rs 600-crore scheme - TIES - for developing export linked infrastructure in states with a view to promoting outbound shipments. Launched by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) seeks to bridge the infrastructure gap and provide forward and backward linkages to units engaged in trade activities. The scheme, to be implemented from April 1, would have a budgetary allocation of Rs 600 crore for three years with an annual outlay of Rs 200 crore. Five per cent of the grant approved would be used for appraisal, review and monitoring. It will be implemented from 2017-18 till 2019-20. "It is going to be on participative basis and the focus is not just to create infrastructure and leave it, but make sure that it is professionally run and sustained," Sitharaman told reporters here. An inter-ministerial empowered committee for sanctioning and monitoring of the project was set up for the scheme.
It will be headed by the commerce secretary. "We are definitely asking for a clear definition and linkage with export industries (for the projects)," she added. Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said some of the biggest cost, the exporters tend to incur is on account of absence of dedicated infrastructure, whether it is testing or handling facilities or cold storages at ports. The TIES would focus on projects like customs checkpoints, last mile connectivity, border haats and integrated check posts. "The idea of this scheme is to address those gaps in infrastructure which are not addressed by any other scheme. It will help to ensure smoother movement of export cargo and also ensure quality standards and certification," Teaotia added. Unlike Assistance to States for Development of Export Infrastructure and Allied Activities (ASIDE) Scheme, which was funded by the Centre, the cost of projects under TIES would be equally shared between the Centre and the states. However, for north-eastern and the Himalayan region states, the Centre may bear 80 per cent of the cost. Under the scheme, priority would be given to the projects involving significant contribution by the implementing agency and bank financing for achieving financial closure. The other salient features of the scheme includes promotion of leveraging of funds from other sources including bank financing; no recurring costs of the land to be included; and operating & maintenance costs to be met through pay and use charges. The central and state agencies, including Export Promotion Councils, Commodities Boards, SEZ authorities and apex trade bodies recognised under the EXIM policy of government; are eligible for financial support under this scheme.
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