- Mega shopping festivals to be held in 4 cities, says Nirmala Sitharaman
- Themes to be gold/jewellery, handicrafts/yoga/tourism, textiles, leather
- Four cities yet to be finalised by Ministry of Commerce, she adds
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday that the government would organise mega shopping festivals in four cities across the country in March next year. The shopping festivals - to be held in four different themes - will be similar to the ones held in Dubai, Nirmala Sitharaman said. Dubai's tourism department organises an annual month-long event, called Dubai Shopping Festival, famous for grand discounts and lucky draws. The announcement was part of a third instalment of measures in a span of three weeks to revive the economy, which in the first quarter of the current financial year recorded its slowest rate of growth in six years.
The shopping festivals will be in four different themes: Gold and jewellery, handicrafts/yoga/tourism, textiles and leather, an official release said. The four cities are yet to be finalised by the Ministry of Commerce. This is in a bid to benefit the small and medium enterprises in the export sector.
The government also announced steps to promote the export of engineering goods and handicrafts. Artisans in the space of handicrafts and textiles will be on-boarded on the government's e-commerce platform, she said.
Mass on-boarding of artisans will happen across the country in partnership with the Textile Ministry, Ms Sitharaman added.
While making the announcements, the Finance Minister said the exporters need "handholding" and the steps will give them additional advantage at a time when the rupee has depreciated against the US dollar.
India's merchandise exports fell 6.05 per cent to $26.13 billion in August, according to official data.
The government is aiming to return to an export growth rate of 19-20 per cent to be able to reach the $5-trillion economy mark as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This translates into a trillion-dollar of exports over the next five years, a goal that would test the ability of the government to push exports in difficult global economic conditions.
"On the export front, we are willing to take bold decisions and steps... So we are clearly looking at a trillion dollar export in the next five years and its eminently doable, not at all beyond imagination, but you need to dare to accept a large target," Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said this week.
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