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Piyush Goyal retains commerce and industry portfolio

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Goyal, who won his first Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North constituency by a margin of over 3.5 lakh votes, took oath as the Cabinet Minister on June 9

New Delhi: Piyush Goyal will take charge as the Commerce and Industry Minister, for the second time, in the newly-formed Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an official statement said on Monday.

Goyal, who won his first Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North constituency by a margin of over 3.5 lakh votes, took oath as the Cabinet Minister on June 9.

Goyal, 59, who had been a Rajya Sabha member since 2010, eloquently articulated the government’s position on different occasions during debates on various issues in the Upper House of Parliament.

He is the son of BJP loyalists Ved Prakash Goyal and Chandrakanta Goyal. His father was the minister of shipping in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government and a BJP national treasurer, and his mother was a three-term MLA from Matunga in Mumbai.

Piyush Goyal was elevated to the Cabinet rank in September 2017.

He has held the post of BJP’s national treasurer and also headed the party’s communications campaign in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The senior politician, who became leader of the house in Rajya Sabha in 2021, has handled multiple ministries like finance, railways, coal, corporate affairs, commerce, industry and textiles, consumer affairs, food and public distribution.

A chartered accountant by profession, Goyal is known for taking a strong stand to protect the interests of farmers and fishermen in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meetings.

Goyal will take charge at a time when India’s merchandise exports declined by 3.1% to $437 billion and a 3.5% contraction was recorded in the foreign direct investments (FDI) into India in 2023-24 due to global economic uncertainties and slowdown in demand.

FDI declined to $44.42 billion in the last fiscal from $46 billion in 2022-23.

Economic think tank GTRI has suggested that simplification of e-commerce rules, disbursement of duty refund scheme in cash, and setting up of a national trade network, and publishing a report on the effectiveness of India’s trade pacts should be part of the new government’s 100-day agenda.

The Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) has also suggested the use of blockchain technology for tracing mechanisms for major fruits and vegetable products, allowing special economic zones to sell goods in the domestic market on duty foregone basis, and reducing reliance on China for important imports such as Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, solar cells, EV batteries, and mobile phone components.

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) chairman Sudhir Sekhri said that the convergence of a positive domestic outlook with a favourable political regime will provide a conducive ecosystem for business in India in the years to come.

“The Government’s third term clearly sets the stage for bold reforms that industry has been waiting for,” he said.

Sharing similar views, ex-president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) A Sakthivel said that the stable government will help India achieve $2 trillion in exports before 2030.

Welcoming the announcement of Goyal as commerce minister, FIEO President Ashwini Kumar said under the minister’s tenure, the country’s exports would register healthy growth rates in the months to come.

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