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Promotion council for SEZs, EOUs

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Dec. 24

THE Government today announced the setting up of a separate Export Promotion Council (EPC) for 100 per cent export-oriented units (EOUs) and units in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs), even though there is already an exclusive umbrella organisation under the appellation Confederation of 100 per cent EOUs (CEU) for the former functioning from Mumbai.

An official release here said that the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Mr Arun Shourie, has approved the distinct EPC exclusively for EOUs/SEZ units, after taking into consideration the demand of the trade and the felt need of the sector.

The newly constituted EPC would help in facilitating exports and provide them the legitimacy to articulate the difficulties of export-oriented units before the State Governments and other Central Government departments. It would function as an approved trade body under the Market Development Assistance (MDA) and Market Access Initiative (MAI) schemes of the Commerce Ministry for organising specific and innovative activities for their members, which would lead to an enhanced export turnover from this sector.

However, senior trade policy analysts and export units consultants in Mumbai to whom Business Line spoke said that there was proliferation of EPCs for various products and this would only add to the duplication of export promotion efforts for the products these units churned out. They further said that by making the new EPC for EOUs and SEZ units an approved trade body under the MDA and MAI, the membership has become compulsory to these units, rendering them to play politics with the EPC officials and influential members of the EPC who constitute these councils.

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