NEW DELHI: A new scheme will be launched in 2017-18 to create infrastructure for exports, a move aimed at reducing transaction costs for traders.

“A new and restructured central scheme with a focus on export infrastructure, namely, Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) will be launched in 2017-18,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget speech.

Indian exporters face huge challenges in terms of infrastructure, particularly in states. Inadequate infrastructure pushes their transactions costs, impacting competitiveness of Indian goods in the global markets.

Exporters body FIEO said the scheme will help create modern infrastructure like last mile connectivity to ports, testing labs and certification centres.

“This is a welcome move. The scheme will help in modernising infrastructure in states for exporters,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) DG Ajay Sahai said.

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had last month informed about TIES and stated that it would aim at funding export infrastructure in states.

The issue was discussed during the meeting of the Council for Trade Development and Promotion in January.

Announcement about TIES assumes significance as the “Assistance to States for Development of Export Infrastructure and Allied Activities (ASIDE) Scheme” was shifted to states on the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission.

ASIDE provides for an outlay for development of export infrastructure in states.

After this shift, states came back last year and urged the centre to take care of creating infrastructure for exports, Sitharaman had said.

She had stated that all the pending or incomplete projects will have to be undertaken by states.

Recording positive growth for the fourth month in a row, India’s exports rose by 5.72 per cent to USD 23.9 billion in December on better performance by petroleum, engineering and pharmaceuticals segments.