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Exim policy will cut transaction costs, says Kamal Nath

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, JUNE 5. The new Exim Policy to be announced in July will aim at boosting export competitiveness by a drastic reduction in transaction costs and procedural simplifications. Disclosing this here today, the Commerce and Industry Minister, Kamal Nath, assured the exporting community of all help in achieving double-digit growth on a sustainable basis.

Addressing a meeting organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), he said, "The role of our delivery systems have to be reoriented for the expansion of India's manufacturing and services base in general and exports in particular.''

He felt the long-term perspective of India as a significant player in international markets would have to be kept in mind and strategies tailored accordingly. In this context, he said the Government would give special focus to agri exports and encourage FDI to boost economic activities rather than displace domestic capital. On the services side, he said a special focus will be given to greenfield areas in services like health.

Mr. Kamal Nath told industrialists that the Government will work towards removing procedural hurdles and create hassle-free, transparent and enabling environment to make the country a hub for manufacturing as well as services.

Earlier, the FICCI President, Yogendra Kumar Modi, drew the Minister's attention to the lack of labour reforms as a major roadblock to further investments in labour intensive manufacturing. He urged that at least for new investments, there should be flexibility in the labour market to promote and maximise manufacturing in sectors such as textiles, garments, leather and food processing.

For the forthcoming Exim policy, he said that two critical issues must be addressed including reduction in transaction cots and implementation of WTO-compatible duty neutralisation schemes to reimburse all indirect taxes including local levies.

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