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Govt to reveal steps on trade issues over coronavirus soon, FM chairs meet 

Business Standard , Feb 20, 2020

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday chaired a meeting of secretaries to assess the impact of the deadly Coronavirus outbreak on India, as the Centre chalks out measures to address trade concerns.

The Finance Minister reviewed the preparedness to deal with the issues surrounding the outbreak at a time when several sectors, including manufacturing and distribution, raised concern about businesses taking a hit and prices soaring. The Finance Ministry is likely to announce measures to deal with the issues over the outbreak after a meeting with the Prime Ministerís Office (PMO).

Earlier in the day, the industry body, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) pitched for incentivising local manufacturers to exhort them towards making investments and tackle supply disruptions. "There should be incentives and other opportunities to fast track investments in India and position India as an alternative source," Secretary-General, FICCI Dilip Chenoy said.

Both, the finance ministry and the Niti Aayog were "very responsive and the idea of doing sectoral approach to this (problem) and setting up of an inter-ministerial coordination system to address was also appreciable", the secretary-general told PTI.

While the finance minister had earlier denied there was a shortage of raw materials in the manufacturing sector, Niti Aayog along with top executives of the pharma industry and senior officials discussed ways to boost domestic manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) amid concerns of a disruption in supplies from China.