Export target may be achieved: Kamal Nath

March 19th, 2008 - 10:32 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) India may be able to achieve the export target of $160 billion for the current fiscal despite the rupee appreciation posing huge challenges for Indian exporters, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said Wednesday. “We are very close to the export target despite all the problems posed by the appreciation of the rupee. The credit goes to our exporters and we may be able to achieve the target (of $160 billion),” the minister said on the sidelines of a conclave here organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

“We are looking at giving sops to the exporters in the FTP (Foreign Trade Policy),” Kamal Nath said adding that his ministry might look into providing more financial relief, such as neutralization of duties, to the exporters through the FTP, which would be released early next month.

He also said the government was looking at identifying areas such as toys and sports goods as the major thrust areas in the FTP that would generate employment.

The appreciation of the rupee by about 11 percent in the last 10-11 months hit the exporters, especially in the textile, handicrafts, marine and leather sectors, which also faced huge job losses.

So far, the government has announced financial assistance amounting to Rs.80 billion in three tranches during 2007-08 for the exporters.

The finance ministry also announced enhancement of duty entitlement passbook scheme rates by three percent for nine identified sectors and two percent for others.

The government has set an export target of Rs.200 billion for the next financial year, officials said.

During April-January, exports rose to $124.19 billion, 21.6 percent up from a year earlier, according to current trade data.

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