- RBI is in discussion with the central banks of other countries on the matter
- USD100-billion target for the textiles export would be achieved.
Rajkot: Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday expressed hope that traders will soon be able to settle foreign trade in the rupee currency as several banks from different countries are opening special Vostro accounts with Indian banks.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved 60 requests to open Special Rupee Vostro Accounts (SRVAs) of correspondent banks from 18 countries, including the UK, Singapore, and New Zealand.
The RBI, he said, is in discussion with the central banks of other countries on the matter. "We will soon start seeing operationalisation of this rupee trading in international trade with several countries," Goyal told reporters here.
He also said that negotiations for free trade agreements (FTAs) with developed regions like the European Union, the UK, and Canada are in "advanced" stages.
Groups including European Free Trade Association Free Trade Agreement (EFTA), Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) are also keen to start talks for similar pacts with India.
"The whole world wants to have a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with India," the minister said.
On the second phase of the production-linked incentive scheme for the textiles sector, he said that extensive stakeholder discussions have happened on the subject. "I am quite confident that very soon we will be able to finalise the contours of the scheme and take it up for approval at the highest level," he added.
Goyal said that Indian textile exporters were earlier facing customs duty disadvantages in developed markets vis-a-vis countries like Bangladesh, but as the government is inking trade pacts with regions like the UAE and Australia, domestic exporters would be able to push shipments.
On promoting sustainability in the textiles sector, Goyal said that the textiles ministry has decided to set up an ESG (environmental, social, and governance commitments) task force.
The task force will come up with suggestions to make the sector more environment-friendly and sustainable.
The textiles ministry has also launched a portal to promote the sale of handicrafts and handloom products.
On the National Textiles Corporation, he said that viability and other issues of its units have been discussed with the Finance Ministry but no final decision has been taken yet.
On pink worms affecting cotton crops in certain places, the minister said that they are in discussion with the agri ministry and scientists to develop pink worm-resistant varieties.
On exports, Goyal said expressed confidence that the USD 100-billion target for the textiles sector would be achieved.
He also said working with industry would help take the industry's combined domestic and international economic value to USD 250 billion. "It is possible. We will definitely achieve that," he added.
Goyal was here as part of the Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam which is being conducted under the 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat' Initiative in Gujarat in Rajkot.