Government taking steps to boost MSMEs, exports amid global cues: Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi(PTI): The government is taking necessary measures to support small and medium industries keeping in view a sluggish global situation that has led to fall in country’s exports, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said.

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

“It cannot be denied that the global situation has been depressed and things are not improving. The government is doing what it can to change the situation for the small and medium players,” the minister said at the inauguration of ‘India Diamond Trading Centre’ on Sunday.

She said the merchandise exports is likely to fall further and the ministry is making all efforts to help small and medium players. The gems and jewellery sector constitutes 13% of the merchandise exports, she added.

India’s exports remained in negative territory for the 12th straight month in a row after it registered a drop of 24.43% in November to $20.01 billion as against $26.48 billion in the year-ago period.

The minister said, the gems and jewellery sector needs a lot of attention as it provides jobs to millions and the government will take steps to remove the hurdles that are impediment to the growth.

“We will ensure that the gems and jewellery sector remains vibrant. We will take up some of the concerns of the industry with finance ministry, especially the taxation issue,” she added.

Sitharaman further said, the industry has grown since 2004-05, to become an important sector, exporting $40 billion goods in 2014-15, due to its entrepreneurship, drive and hard determination to be internationally competitive.

Speaking about the Diamond Trading Centre, the minister said, “Last December 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the World Diamond conference, jointly organised by the GJEPC, said he would announce a special notified zone (SNZ) and within one year we are here to inaugurate the diamond trading centre. And this is much before the scheduled visit of the Prime Minister to Russia.”