New Delhi, May 3 (PTI) Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu today asked regional officials of foreign trade division DGFT to engage more with states and identify districts with export potential with a view to promoting foreign shipments.

Addressing regional officers of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) from across the country during a meeting, the minister asked them to act as facilitator and not a regulator, according to a release by the Commerce and Industry Ministry.

The minister also has asked the foreign trade division to set up panels headed by chief secretaries of states to discuss all export promotion related issues and boost the country’s shipments.

The minister has asked regional officers to increase engagement with the states to boost exports.

“He urged DGFT to set up a committee headed by the chief secretary of states on all export promotion issues including logistics,” the ministry said in a statement.

The minister has stated “that the regional officers have to take their job as a challenge and an opportunity as foreign trade is now a strategic issue for India as it not only benefits the domestic economy but also links the country with global trade,” it said.

Further the minister added that officers of DGFT should identify districts with export potential of unique products.

India’s exports dipped by 0.66 percent to USD 29.11 billion in March, even as they increased by 9.78 percent for the full 2017-18 fiscal.

Exports aggregated at USD 302.84 billion in 2017-18 as compared to USD 275.85 billion in the previous fiscal.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.