Rajahmundry (AP): Senior TDP leader Thota Sita Ramalaxmi has requested the Centre to notify Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh’s West Goadavari district as ‘Town of Export Excellence’ for its potential in shrimp and fisheries exports.

The Rajya Sabha member yesterday met Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman to put forth the demand.

“Bhimavaram has immense potential for shrimp/fisheries exports, yet it has been neglected for the necessary basic infrastructure. There is a central government scheme under which if an area/cluster exports worth Rs 1,000 crores it can be notified as ‘Town of Export Excellence’,” Ramalaxmi said in a statement here.

There are certain exemptions for this turnover criteria and fisheries is one such sector wherein it is Rs 250 crores only, she said.

Bhimavaram being an aqua hub is currently earning Rs 3,800 crores of foreign revenue and is aptly suited to qualify under this scheme, she said.

The MP discussed the issue in detail with the Union Minister and urged her to declare Bhimavaram as ‘Town of Export Excellence’ at the earliest so that it can have access to the much required funds for the infrastructure development in the area.

Later, Ramalaxmi told reporters that by getting this status, the industries and the state will have benefits like – common service providers in this area shall be eligible for the EPCG scheme where a lot of equipment can be either imported or procured domestically with nil or concessional duties.

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