ASIDE scheme was launched on March 13, 2002, for the growth and development of the export industry of our country in an effective and efficient manner. The basic objectives of the scheme are:
i. To involve the States in the growth of export by providing incentive-linked assistance to the State Governments.
ii. To create appropriate infrastructure for the development and growth of exports.
ASIDE is a Centrally Sponsored Plan scheme. It provides outlay for development of export infrastructure, which is distributed among the States on the basis of the States’ export performance in the previous year.
The outlay of the scheme has two components:
80% of the funds: To the States on the basis of the approved criteria.
The balance 20% (Central component), and amount equivalent to un-utilized portion of the funds allocated to the States in the past year(s), if any, is retained at the Central level for meeting the requirements of inter-state projects, capital outlays of SEZs, activities relating to promotion of exports from the North Eastern Region as per the existing guidelines of the Export Development Fund and any other activity considered important by the Central Government from the regional or national perspective.
Exports are very important for the social as well as economic growth of the country. Now a good export system will also need a good infrastructure and so is the aim of this scheme. The exports vary largely from one state to the other as per its production. So the plan is set keeping in mind the exports of that particular state. It then provides financial assistance to the state governments for the development of the export system of that state. Also sometimes it is very difficult for the states to avail the opportunities because of lack of proper resources. It therefore also helps to make it feasible for all the states. This is a big project with huge funds and it needs proper utilisation of these funds.
• Involve the states in the export effort by providing assistance to the State Governments for creating appropriate infrastructure for the development and growth of exports.
• States do not perceive direct gains from the growth in exports from the State. Moreover, the States do not often have adequate resources to participate in the funding of infrastructure for exports.
• Establish a mechanism for seeking the involvement of the State Governments in such efforts through assistance linked to export performance.
The activities aimed at the development of infrastructure for exports can be funded from the scheme provided such activities have an overwhelming export content and their linkage with exports is fully established.
i. Setting up of electronic and other related infrastructure in the export conclave.
ii. Equity participation in infrastructure projects including the setting up of SEZs.
iii. Meeting requirements of capital outlay of EPIPs/EPZs/SEZs
iv. Development of complementary infrastructures such as roads connecting the production centres with the ports, setting up of Inland Container Depots and Container Freight Stations,
v. Stabilising power supply through additional transformers and islanding of export production centres etc.
vi. Development of minor ports and jetties of a particular specification to serve an export purpose.
vii. Assistance for setting up common effluent treatment facilities for which guidelines are placed.
viii. Projects of national and regional importance.
Allocation of funds
The outlay of the scheme will have two components. 80% of the funds (State component) shall be kept for allocation to the States on the basis of the approved criteria as indicated to be utilised for the approved purposes. The balance 20% (central component), and amounts equivalent to unutilised portion of the funds allocated to the States in the past year(s), if any, shall be retained at the central level for meeting the requirements of interstate projects, capital outlays of EPZs, activities relating to promotion of exports from the NER as per the existing guidelines of EDF and any other activity considered important by the Central Government from the regional or the national perspective.
Criteria for State-wise allocation
The State Component will be allocated to the States in two tranches of 50% each. The inter-state allocation of the first tranche of 50% to the States shall be made on the basis of export performance. This shall be calculated on the basis of the share of the State in the total exports. The second tranche of the remaining 50% will be allocated inter-state on the basis of a share of the States in the average of the growth rate of exports over the previous year. The allocations will be based on the data of exports of goods alone and the export of services will not be taken into account.
Criteria for approval of projects
The proposals must show a direct linkage with the exports. The proposed investments should also not duplicate the efforts of any existing organisation in the same field. The funding for the project should generally be of cost -sharing basis if the assistance is being provided to a non-government agency. However, the SLEPC/Empowered Committee may consider full funding of the project on merits.
Under the scheme, funds for the approved projects may be sanctioned to: –
i. Public Sector undertakings of Central/ State Governments
ii. Other agencies of Central/ State Governments
iii. Export Promotion Councils/ Commodity Boards
iv. Apex Trade bodies recognised under the EXIM policy of Government of India and other apex bodies recognised for this purpose by the Empowered Committee set up under para 8.
v. Individual Production/ Service Units dedicated to exports.
We hope that the scheme works according to the defined plan and covers maximum states. Proper arrangements have been made for its promotion so that everyone gets equal opportunities so all it needs now is maximum participation. The government will assist the states but the major initiative has to be taken by the state itself. It requires time and management so that a proper plan is made connecting the exports of that state and it is also properly utilised. The plan has to be very clear and practical in its approach. Such small initiatives can bring major changes in the system and also the country.
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