Export sops to be withdrawn next yr: Commerce secretary

New Delhi: With the country's export performance back on track, government will withdraw incentives to exporters, given after the global economic crisis of 2008-09, reports PTI quoting commerce secretary Rahul Khullar.

"I am sure...next year you will see it," Mr Khullar told reporters when asked if the government will pull back the stimulus given to exporters.

Exports have grown by 26.8% in the seven-month period of the current fiscal to $121.4 billion.

Most of the "big ticket" sectors like engineering goods, gems and jewellery, chemicals and petroleum products have been performing well, with demand improving in several major markets, Mr Khullar said.

He also ruled out any more benefits to the exporters by "sectoral reviews". He said, "Today when everybody is doing well, the real question is …Can I pull back the incentives gradually?"

Besides the traditional markets of the US and the European Union, Indian exporters have also been diversifying the products to other destinations like Latin America.

In wake of demand slowdown following recession in several markets like the US and EU in 2008-09, the government had given incentives like 2% interest subsidy on loans to exporters to provide them cushion against impact of global economic slowdown.

Exports, which have contracted since October 2008 turned positive after 12 months.

In the supplementary Foreign Trade Policy announced in August 2010, exporters were given sops worth about Rs1,053 crore.

Outward shipments of engineering goods increased by 41.4% in the first seven months of the current fiscal. Exports of gems and jewellery increased by 21%, petroleum products by 57% and pharmaceuticals by 14%.

Mr Khullar expressed confidence that once the outward shipments crossed $200 billion this fiscal, the exporters would stop asking for sops.

With April-October cumulative exports already at $121.4 billion, the commerce ministry is "confident" of crossing the $200 billion exports target for the fiscal.

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