New Delhi: "Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), an autonomous organisation under the Department of Commerce, provides assistance to exporters of scheduled products of APEDA for promotion of exports," said the minister, adding that Rs 56.68, Rs 2.55 crore, Rs 14.93 crore and Rs 0.11 crore have been provided under the Transport Assistance, Quality Development, Market Development and Development of Infrastructure schemes, respectively in 2013-14.
The Department of Commerce also gives grants for Market Development Assistance (MDA) and Market Access Initiative (MAI), she added. The Department of Commerce is also providing incentives on export of various eligible products of agriculture sector under Vishesh Krishi and Gram Udyog Yojana (VKGUY), Focus Product Scheme (FPS), Focus Market Scheme (FMS) and International Export Incentivisation Scheme (IEIS) in the form of duty credit scrip.
However, the Government has not provided any subsidy for import of sugar and foodgrains during last three years. The Government is also providing grants/assistance to export promotion councils/ authorities/ associations/federations and Government bodies under MDA & MAI schemes, the minister said.
The beneficiaries under the above schemes receiving more than Rs. five crore once or more during 2011-2014 are Apparel Export Promotion Council, Basic Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals & Cosmetics Export Promotion Council, Council for Leather Exports, Engineering Export Promotion Council, Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts, Electronics & Computer Software Export Promotion Council, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Federation of Indian Export Organisation, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council, Carpet Export Promotion Council, Confederation of Indian Industry, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India, CMAI and Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council.
"The export/import rates of agricultural products depends on various factors including global stock position, international demand and supply situation, quality standards in the importing countries, varieties traded and price competitiveness," Sitharaman added.
Currently, the Government is exporting only wheat through Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) of Department of Commerce. No wheat is being imported on Government Account. Similarly, Government is importing edible oils and pulses meant for Public Distribution Schemes through PSUs, however, no export of pulses and edible oils is being done on Government Account. Thus, no question arises that the Government is importing the goods at higher rates and exporting the same at lower rates.