The Industries and Commerce Minister, Punjab, Sunder Sham Arora has demanded from the Union Government to increase the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) incentive from 5 to 10 percent of the Freight On Board (FOB) value of agricultural and horticultural exports from the state besides increase in the central subsidy on inland haulage component of fruits and vegetables.In his address today on the occasion of attending the 4th Meeting of Council for Trade Development & Promotion (CTDP) at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi, the minister said that the CTDP is an excellent forum for discussing the way forward for promotion of exports and establishment of export infrastructure with a view to increasing the exports from the country. He demanded from the Union Government that increase the MEIS incentive from 5 to 10 percent of the FOB value of agricultural and horticultural exports from the state, Central subsidy on inland haulage component of fruits and vegetables, imposing upon Bangladesh to review the high import duties levied on Kinnows exported to the country.Mr. Arora also requested facilitation from the Union Commerce Ministry for starting Air Cargo liner operations from the Amritsar and Chandigarh International Airports and to levy import duties on cheap Pakistani cement imports which are hurting the local cement industry.
He also emphatically put forward the demand for a special industrial package to Punjab to make up the loss the state suffered on account of terrorism and it being a border state.The minister also highlighted the new Industrial & Business Development Policy-2017 of the State of Punjab under which various incentives such as exemption from Electricity Duty, Property Tax, CLU charges, EDC and Stamp Duty are given to industries. The Policy provides Power at affordable and fixed tariff for 5 years to the existing as well as new industries. Among other things, the minister made a mention of the State Government’s plans to set up a Warehousing Park in the Tepla-Rajpura belt.The Minister also requested the Union Commerce Minister Mr. Suresh Prabhu to intervene and use his good offices to expedite certain notification relating to commencement of EXIM operations by PLIL and conferring ICD status on the PSWC Dry Port facility at Dappar. The Union Commerce Minister appreciated the suggestions and promised to accord all assistance to the State in its effort for export infrastructure development and export promotion.It is worth noting that the CTDP meeting is chaired by Union Commerce Minister and it is held once in a year in the month of January with the Commerce & Industry Ministers and Secretaries of all states.During the today’s meeting, the Additional Chief Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department, Punjab, Mrs. Vini Mahajan was also present.