The commerce ministry has proposed revised election bye-laws for all export promotion councils (EPCs) including apex exporters' body FIEO, under which a chairman will hold office for two years and will not be eligible for the immediate next election.
The revised model articles of associations/bye-laws for EPCs and Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) are required to be adopted by these bodies and conduct elections of their office-bearers.
The model bye-laws have already been circulated to all these councils and organisations for adoption.
This was proposed by a three-member panel set up by the ministry in May to review the eligibility criteria for the election to make them more inclusive and representative. It was reviewing the eligibility criteria for the election of office bearers of EPCs and FIEO.
The panel reviewed the existing guidelines and made suitable recommendations about representation of different stakeholders in the managing committee and other posts.
After that elections in these bodies were put on hold. Now after adoption of these new revised bye-laws the councils and FIEO can start the election process. So far the elections were conducted on bye-laws made in 2015.
According to the model bye-laws, a chairperson shall be eligible for re-election as vice-chairperson in the same/any other council, only after a gap of four years.
The vice-chairperson of the committee would be elected by the council for a term of two years.
It said that the committee of administration would be composed of elected and nominated members.
"At least one third of the seats for the elected members of the committee shall be reserved for representatives of MSMEs," it said.
In a communication to the chairman/president of all these bodies, the ministry in a communication said that the review committee, after multiple rounds of internal discussions and stakeholder consultation with all EPCs and FIEO, submitted its report to the department of commerce along with the revised bye-laws and that has been approved by the competent authority.
"It is advised that all EPCs and FIEO may get these model articles of associations/bye-laws adopted in the EGM/special governing body meeting before their next AGM. In case any EPC or FIEO finds any difficulty in implementation of provisions under any specific article, they may send a proposal to ...the department for consideration," it said.
The 27-page bye-laws have proposed eligibility for elections, resignation of members, disqualifications for membership of council, and method of conducting elections.
"The council shall have a Committee of Administration (CoA) to perform the functions assigned to it by these articles; the Chairperson shall hold office for a period of two years and; shall retire accordingly; (and) shall not be eligible for re-election at the immediate next election," it said, adding, "At least one third of the seats for the elected members of the Committee shall be reserved for representatives of MSMEs."
The councils are funded by the commerce or the respective ministry under which it was constituted. Their main function is to facilitate exports.
Different export promotion councils include EEPC India, Export Promotion Council for EOUs & SEZs, Project EPC, Basic Chemicals, Cosmetics and Dyes Export Promotion Council, Chemicals and Allied Products Export Promotion Council (CAPEXIL), Council for Leather Exports, Sports Goods Export Promotion Council, and Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
The other councils include Shellac Export Promotion Council, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India, The Plastics Export Promotion Council, Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council, Indian Oil Seeds And Produce Export Promotion Council (IOPEPC), and Services EPC.
FIEO was set up in 1965 as an apex body of export promotion in the country.
It has been designated as the registering authority for status holder exporting firms and other exporters dealing in multi-products.
It also issues Certificate of Origin which is required by many countries as proof of origin of the goods.