More stimulus for export sector on cards, discloses Anand Sharma


New Delhi : In order to support the export sector, the foreign trade policy to be announced later this month is likely to contain stimulus packages, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said here Monday.

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“We will talk to the finance ministry on export sector stimulus. We will announce more stimulus in the trade policy this month,” Sharma said after a meeting of the Board of Trade (BoT), the government’s highest advisory body on export- and import-related issues.

“We are working on a long-term policy which will be reflected in the upcoming FTP (foreign trade policy),” he added.

The meeting was also attended by Harsh Pati Singhania, president of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), Venu Srinivasan, president of Confederation of Indian Industry, and A. Sakthivel, president of Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) – all ex-officio members of the board – apart from representatives of export promotion councils.

The minister, who received various suggestions from the industry representatives, said, “Steps have been taken, steps will be taken and those will get clearly reflected in the new policy.”

At the meting, Ficci chief Singhania called for special emphasis on services exports, and suggested the creation of a technology upgrade fund scheme for engineering goods, which constitutes around a quarter of India’s total exports.

Exporters also asked for extension of interest subsidy to additional sectors such as granite, marble and rubber products; income tax benefit for export profits for a temporary period; compensation for inland freight cost; reimbursement of state taxes and levies, and extension of the duty entitlement pass book (DEPB) scheme – an export incentive scheme – beyond Dec 31.