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Government to set up committee to suggest key measures to boost export performance: Nirmala Sitharaman

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

To help export sector gain momentum, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that the government is setting up an advisory committee to suggest key key measures to boost export performance.

Exports play a key role in ensuring success of the Make In India initiative and government is committed to ease of doing business, said Nirmala Sitharaman.

Speaking at the ECGC Dun & Bradstreet Export Performance Award ceremony in the city on Saturday night, the Minister said “ manufacturing in India can be much more than what it is today, from the point of view of what it contributes towards the GDP. When I say manufacturing in India, both in volume and value, I include our exporters, who even in difficult times have kept their nose above water.”

The Minister asserted while a lot is being said, a lot is being done also at the government level. She said the e-biz portal launched recently by the Finance Minister was a great boon for the manufacturers and exporters. Another portal helps exporters gather information about which product is in demand where.

Sitharaman said the profile of the Indian exporters has changed over the last two decades and our products are no longer considered of inferior quality. “ It is no longer the story that we would hear 20-30 years ago, that Indian products need quality enhancement, they need to be trustworthy, there are no arguments of this kind anymore. Many of the products like pharmaceuticals, automobile components, textiles, are reaching certain standards which make the nation proud “ Sitharaman added. She further said access to markets abroad is restricted not because Indian exporters are found lacking in quality or product diversification, but because of the protectionist measures of countries which want to keep Indian exporters at a distance, in order to help their own exporters or protect their smaller and upcoming industries.

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Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Gets Reinstated

A spokesman for Wickremesinghe said he was expected to form a Cabinet in the coming days, with priority given to the 2019 budget

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Sri Lanka, prime minister
Sri Lanka's ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe looks on during a parliament session in Colombo, Dec. 12, 2018. On Sunday he was reinstated as prime minister, ending a political crisis.

Sri Lanka’s sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was reinstated Sunday, his party said, ending a 51-day crisis that had paralyzed the island nation and pushed it toward debt default.

The 69-year-old leader was sworn in by President Maithripala Sirisena, who sacked him Oct. 26 and triggered a power struggle that brought the country’s government to a standstill.

Wickremesinghe had refused to step aside since being sacked and replaced by former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Power struggle won

Sri Lanka had drifted without a functioning government for nearly two months as the rival factions jostled for power in parliament and the courts.

Sri Lanka, Parliament, Prime minister
Supporters of ousted Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe celebrate outside the supreme court complex in Colombo. VOA

Sirisena had vowed to never reappoint Wickremesinghe, who he publicly castigated in speeches in recent weeks, as prime minister under his watch.

The acrimony between the two was underscored Sunday when Sirisena barred journalists from attending the swearing-in ceremony, leaving it to Wickremesinghe’s legislators to announce the appointment.

“We thank the citizens of the country who fought the illegal seizure of power and ensured that democracy was restored,” his United National Party of Sri Lanka posted on Twitter

President’s appointee failed

Rajapaksa, Sirisena’s appointee, was unable to govern, failing many times to muster a majority in parliament.

Sri Lanka, prime minister
Sri Lanka’s disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa gestures as he arrives for a meeting with his supporting lawmakers at the parliamentary complex in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Nov. 29, 2018. VOA

He was defeated six times on the floor of the legislature before being forced to step down Saturday.

Sirisena suffered a huge setback when the highest court in the country ruled last week that he acted outside the constitution when he sacked parliament in early November.

The court also confirmed Friday that Rajapaksa and his purported Cabinet could not exercise the powers of the office they held.

Also Read: President’s Dissolution of Parliament Unconstitutional: Sri Lanka’s Court

A spokesman for Wickremesinghe said he was expected to form a Cabinet in the coming days, with priority given to the 2019 budget, without which foreign debt servicing may not be possible.

Sri Lanka had been braced for a government shutdown as parliament failed to approve spending for 2019, and ratings agencies downgraded the country’s credit rating amid fears of a sovereign debt default. (VOA)