"Visakhapatnam and Bhimavaram have been recognised as towns of export excellence under the seafood category and it is for the first time that the cities from Andhra Pradesh have entered the list," TDP leader and Rajya Sabha member Seetha Rama Lakshmi told reporters here on Wednesday.

At present, there are 33 towns in this category across the country but there was no representation from Andhra Pradesh.

She said it will encourage the exporters, keeping in view common service providers in the areas, who are eligible under the Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme, which
enables the import of equipment with nil or concessional duties.

"We had earlier, submitted a memorandum to Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman and state Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, citing statistics representation on shrimp exports from Bhimavaram in August last year and urged them to give its due recognition," Lakshmi added.

They would receive priority for assistance for rectifying the identified infrastructure gaps, she said, adding that the state shall utilise the funds for developing infrastructure required to boost export.

She cited facilities like export industrial parks, equity participation in infrastructure projects, development of minor ports and jetties would have not been possible till Bhimavaram was recognised.

The TDP leader said Naidu took a keen interest in the matter and was in touch with the government for recognising the two cities as towns of export excellence under seafood category.

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