Sharma to meet Chidambaram to seek sops for exports
New Delhi: Admitting that USD 360 billion exports target is difficult to achieve, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma Monday said he would soon meet the Finance Minister to seek subsidy on loans for certain sectors to boost industrial production and exports.
Sharma said that interest subvention is critical for some sectors, both from the point of view of manufacturing as well as exports.
"We need to add more sectors under the interest subvention (scheme), like all the SMEs have been given, interest subvention of two percent. I proposed to discuss this with finance minister very soon, so that we can take a considered view on this matter," he said.
Exports are on decline since May and contracted by 1.63 percent last month. The decline is widening the trade deficit, which rose to record USD 21 billion in October.
On achieving USD 360 billion export target in the fiscal, Sharma said there has been decline in demand from the traditional markets of the US and Europe.
"Definitely there is a real risk ... But we can wish that things will improve in the coming months," he said.
Amid the continuing decline in overseas shipments, the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is reviewing performance of different aspects of the exporting sectors and is likely to complete the exercise in a couple of days.
After that, the government may come out with some support measures for the sector to arrest the decline.
"...Whatever is required to be done, what can possibly be done, given the constraint of resources, we will do that," Sharma added.
The minister also expressed concerned over the contraction in the industrial production measured on IIP in September.
"We were hoping that (IIP) will move to a firm positive territory, but it takes time for implementation of the various initiatives or policy decisions, which have definitely boosted the investors' confidence to percolate down," Sharma said.
Sharma further said that government is in contact touch with all stakeholders including the industry chambers.
"We have a task force between the government and the industry. And I have already called for a meeting of the same on the 22nd or 23rd (of the month), depending on the availability of all members," Sharma added.
Indicating persistent sluggishness in the economy, industrial production contracted by 0.4 percent in September due to dismal show by manufacturing sector and decline in consumer as well as capital goods output.