‘Budget overlooked export sector challenges’

February 29th, 2008 - 8:07 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) The national budget for 2008-09 did not address the problems faced by Indian exporters, who have been affected due to the rising rupee against the dollar, exporters said Friday. “The budget has not addressed the problems faced by the exporters in view of appreciating rupee and stagnating traditional markets,” said Ganesh Kumar Gupta, president, Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO).

“The proposal to provide zero rating of exports through refund of states and local levies, exemption from FBT (fringe benefit tax) on genuine business expenses, exemption from all service taxes on services used during the course of exports to provide a level playing field to Indian exporters have not been considered.”

He was also upset that schemes such as Electronic Hardware Technology Park Scheme, Export-oriented Units and Software Technology Park of India scheme, which offered a slew of benefits and tax sops, have not been extended. These schemes expire March 31, 2009.

While presenting the budget, the finance minister said: “Merchandise exports have come under some pressure due to the appreciation of the rupee and may fall just short of the target of $160 billion, although the growth rate was strong at 21.8 percent during April-Dec 2007-08.”

“The government is sensitive to the needs of the export sector and will continue to respond sympathetically as the situation demands,” he added.

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