India to miss export target in 2007-08: Chidambaram

February 29th, 2008 - 4:12 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) The government Friday said that the export target of $160 billion in 2007-08 might not be achieved due to the rising rupee against the dollar in the past year. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, while presenting the national budget for 2008-09 at the Lok Sabha Friday, said the government would provide relief to exporters adversely hit by appreciation of the rupee against the dollar.

“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,” he said.

To fight the problem the exporters, who also experienced huge job losses, they have been given relief packages amounting to Rs.80 billion in three phases, the minister said.

“I may note that the interest cost of sterilisation through market stabilisation bonds (MSS), estimated at Rs.8,351 crore (Rs.83.51 billion) for the whole year is, in a sense, subsidy to the export sector,” Chidambaram said.

“Government is sensitive to the needs of the export sector and will continue to respond sympathetically as the situation demands.”

Shortly after his budget speech, Chidambaram said over the Lok Sabha television channel that exporters should look at expanding the number of countries they do business with in order to reduce the impact of possible recession in the United States.

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