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Rs.1,052-crore incentives to critical export sectors

Sujay Mehdudia

NEW DELHI: Responding to the concerns of exporters and the sudden decline in exports last month, the UPA government on Monday announced sops worth Rs.1,052 crore to the labour-intensive textile, handicrafts and leather sectors to help them cruise through the fragile global economic recovery phase.

“We are not yet out of the woods. We are confident of achieving the $200-billion export target for 2010-11,” Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said unveiling the annual supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy here.

He also announced the extension of schemes such as the Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) scheme, under which taxes were reimbursed to exporters; interest subsidised; and incentives given for import of capital goods.

Mr. Sharma said the incentives would have revenue implication of Rs.1,052 crore. However, he made it clear that the DEPB scheme was being extended till June 30, 2011 for the last time, “recognising the fragile recovery and the prevailing uncertainties in the global markets.”

A number of products from sectors such as engineering, leather, textiles and jute have been added to the two per cent interest subvention scheme. Handloom, handicrafts, carpet and the SMEs (small and medium enterprises) have been getting this facility, which will now be available till March 31, 2011.

Exports had touched $178.6 billion during the last fiscal amid global economic crisis.

“We can now look back with a sense of satisfaction and claim with humility that the immediate objectives of the policy were realised. The decline in exports has been arrested. However, we must take note that the global recovery so far has been fragile and the economies around the world are still emerging out of the shadows of a grim recessionary period,” Mr. Sharma said.

After declining for 13 months in a row since October 2008, exports have shown positive growth from November 2009.

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