Government launches new scheme for developing export-linked infrastructure

Source: The Economic Times, Mar 16, 2017

NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday unveiled a new scheme that will finance infrastructure creation to boost exports. The Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme, which will be implemented from April 1, will have budgetary allocation of Rs 600 crore for three years with annual outlay of Rs 200 crore.

The scheme will provide assistance for setting up and upgrade of infrastructure projects with “overwhelming export linkages” such as border haats, land customs stations, quality testing and certification labs, cold chains, trade promotion centres, dry ports, export warehousing and packaging, special economic zones, ports and airports.

“It is going to be on participative basis and the focus is not just to create infrastructure and leave it but to make sure it is professionally run and sustained,” said commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the launch.

The scheme will help meet infrastructure funding needs of states after an earlier scheme, Assistance to States for Creating Infrastructure for Development and Growth of Exports, was stopped.

She said the ministry has sought a clear definition and linkage with export industries under this scheme. It will provide grant-in-aid up to half of equity being put in by implementing agencies, with a ceiling of Rs 20 crore per project and 5% of the grant approved will be used for appraisal, review and monitoring.

Central and state government agencies, export promotion councils, commodities boards and apex trade bodies will be eligible for financial support under the scheme and will be known as implementing agencies. Proposals of these implementing agencies for funding will be considered by an empowered committee chaired by the commerce secretary.

 

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