India unveils steps to push exports, $200 bn target set

February 26th, 2009 - 6:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) India is expected to miss the export target of $200 billion this fiscal due to the global meltdown, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said Friday, but hoped this figure will be achieved next year as he unveiled some new measures to help the exporting community.
The minister hoped the country would log merchandise exports of at least $175 billion during the current fiscal, as he reviewed the country’s long-term foreign trade policy.

“The impact of Europe and US recession has obviously impacted us. Till September our export growth trajectory was 30.9 percent,” Kamal Nath said. “But India will suffer less and recover fast from the global crisis.”

During the course of his speech before the chiefs of export promotion councils, the commerce minister said in the first 10 months of this fiscal, merchandise exports amounted to $144.26 billion, registering a growth of just 13.2 percent.

“But I am confident of achieving the target of $200 billion in exports during 2009-10. I am keeping this as our target,” he said, unveiling some steps to boost exports. These include:

-Customs duty under export promotion capital goods scheme cut to 3 percent from 5 percent

-Benefits under Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) scheme to be extended without waiting for realisation of exports proceeds

-Special incentive of Rs.325 crore (Rs.3.25 billion/$65 million) for various sectors like handmade carpets, leather and technical textiles from April 1

-Benefit of 5 percent under “focus product, focus market” scheme for export of handmade carpets

-Authorised persons of gems and jewellery units can personally carry imported gold of up to 10 kg

-Obligation under export promotion capital goods scheme extended till 2009-10 for sops availed during 2008-09

-Bhilwara and Surat recognised as towns of export excellence for textiles and diamonds

-Threshold limit for recognition as premier trading house reduced to Rs.7,500 crore (Rs.75 billion/$1.5 billion)

-Import restriction on worked coral removed for gems and jewellery units

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