India's union minister for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman said exports play a key role in ensuring success of the 'Make in India' initiative. “Manufacturing in India can be much more than what it is today, from the point of view of what it contributes towards the GDP. When I say manufacturing in India, both in volume and value, I include our exporters, who even in difficult times have kept their nose above water," said Sitharaman at the ECGC Dun and Bradstreet Export Performance Award ceremony in Mumbai.
The Minister reiterated government's commitment to 'ease of doing business' and assured the gathering that similar measures will be extended to the export sector as well. For this purpose, the Minister said, she is planning to constitute of Committee, that can suggest thrust areas and key measures which can yield quick results as well as help formulate a long term export strategy.
"This is a government that is fully willing to hear, fully willing to listen and fully willing to act," she added.
The Minister also asserted while a lot is being said, a lot is being done also at the government level. She said the e-biz portal launched recently by finance minister Arun Jaitley was a great boon for the manufacturers and exporters. Another portal helps exporters gather information about which product is in demand where.
Sitharaman said the profile of the Indian exporters has changed over the last two decades and our products are no longer considered of inferior quality. "It is no longer the story that we would hear 20-30 years ago, that Indian products need quality enhancement, they need to be trustworthy, there are no arguments of this kind anymore. Many of the products like pharmaceuticals, automobile components, textiles, are reaching certain standards which make the nation proud," she added.
She further said access to markets abroad is restricted not because Indian exporters are found lacking in quality or product diversification, but because of the protectionist measures of countries which want to keep Indian exporters at a distance, in order to help their own exporters or protect their smaller and upcoming industries.
The Minister later presented ECGC D-B Indian Exporters' Excellence Awards 2015 to 33 companies from various fields like overall export performance, innovation, risk management practices, SEZ exports, women entrepreneurs etc. Companies with minimum 10 per cent revenue from exports during financial year 2013-14 were eligible for nominations.
Indian software major TCS bagged the Best Overall Exporter award in the large companies category, while Pune based Serum Institute of India was won the Best Manufacturer Exporter award.