Cement export ban not applicable for SEZs: Kamal Nath

April 12th, 2008 - 6:38 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) A day after the government announced a ban on cement export to arrest prices, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said Saturday that it is not applicable to special economic zones (SEZs). “India has put a ban on cement exports. However, this will not apply to the SEZs,” the minister said at a meeting organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

The minister also said the cement export ban was notified late Friday night by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade and it was not clear whether it included SEZs too.

On the skyrocketing prices of food items and essential commodities, the minister said the government is considering several other options to address the issue.

“The Cabinet Committee on Prices is expected to meet next Tuesday and the government might take up the issue of steel price rise. We need to address issues to also ease the supply side constraints,” Kamal Nath highlighted.

“The government is ready to take whatever steps are required to control inflation,” he said.

In order to control inflation that hit a 41-month high of 7.41 percent in the week ended March 29, the government has announced steps like banning export of cement and withdrawal of incentives on steel exports.

The government has set a target of $200 billion worth of exports for 2008-09 from the $160 billion in 2007-08 in the annual update of the Foreign Trade Policy Friday.

Last month, the government took steps such as banning export of non-basmati rice and pulses, scrapping import duties on non-refined edible oil and cutting import duties on refined oil, butter, ghee and maize to check the price rise.

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