`Govt not to roll back incentives given to exporters`
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Last Updated: Thursday, July 23, 2009, 19:17
New Delhi: The government today ruled out any possibility of rolling back the incentives given to the export sector saying the country has yet to fully recover from the impact of the global financial meltdown.

"All policies will remain in place ... all incentives which we have given (to exports) will remain in place," Commerce and Industry Ministry Anand Sharma said when asked if improvement in export performance and industrial output would prompt the government to withdraw fiscal incentives.

The minister said that more steps would be taken in the Foreign Trade Policy to help exporters hit by the global financial crisis. "We will see what we can do correctly to help exporters ... that (the steps) will come in the FTP in second half of August," he added.

Although the exports have been shrinking since October 2008, the decline has been arrested in the past few months. The dip in May was 29.2 per cent, while it was 33.2 in April and 33.3 per cent in March.

Noting that stimulus packages and measures announced in the Budget 2009-10 were having positive impact on exports, Sharma said, "We still have to look at export sector which has been hit hard by the slowdown."

The government had given interest subsidy, insurance cover to exporters till March 2010, abolished fringe benefit tax and enhanced allocation for market development assistance among other incentives.

The commerce ministry is in discussion with exporters and industry to chalk out the policies for the FTP to be announced in the second half of August.

"We are engaged in consultations with stakeholders so that we make our exports attractive and competitive," Sharma added.

The meeting of Board of Trade headed by Sharma to be convened in the first week of August. The BoT, the apex advisory body on the country's export and import policy, comprises noted industrialists like Anand Mahindra, Y C Deveshwar and Azim Premji besides others.

Exports are on decline since October 2008 mainly due to slump in demand in the major economies including the US and EU. The US and EU together accounts for over 50 per cent of the country's exports. India's shipments grew by a meagre 3.4 per cent to USD 168.7 billion in 2008-09.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, July 23, 2009, 19:17

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