Customs Commissioner K.N. Raghavan has expressed concern that the port infrastructure in Kochi is underutilised while ports in other parts of the country are being utilised beyond their capacities.

Speaking after opening a workshop on ‘certification of origin’ for exporters, organised by the Export Inspection Agency here on Wednesday, Mr. Raghavan pointed out that only 20 per cent of the Vallarpadam container transshipment terminal was being utilised.

Export earnings

He noted that India’s export earnings were falling and that the earnings in dollar terms in September had been 10 per cent lower than in the same month last year.

The trade gap was widening and this did not augur well for the economy.

He urged exporters to step up their exports by taking advantage of the several preferential trade agreements Indian had recently signed with other countries.

More demand

S.K. Tandon, deputy director of Export Inspection Agency, Kochi, said the certification of origin issued by the agency would give indirect benefits to Indian exporters through increased demand for their products.

The certificate of origin showed that the products originated in India.

Marine products and spices qualified as ‘Indian origin’ and they would get preferential tariff and other benefits in the importing countries in accordance with the trade agreements India had signed with these countries.

Free trade pact

He said that the free trade agreement with the European Union was at an advanced stage and that if the agreement came through, it would bring in a revolution in India’s exports and imports.

N. Madhavan, A.K. Anila and Arvind B. Patil spoke on different aspects of preferential trade agreements at the workshop.

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