Falling rupee: Exporters under pressure to offer discounts

Exporters pointed out that buyers are even going to the extent of finding faults with products and have cited the poor economic scenario in their countries to get the maximum price reduction

Chandigarh: With Indian exporters witnessing ‘unexpected’ gains due to rupee depreciation against the US dollar, global buyers have started putting pressure on them to offer discounts of 5%-10% on shipments, citing recessionary conditions or by finding fault with products, reports PTI.

Not wanting to ‘sour’ their trade relations with buyers by getting into any argument amid a weak global economic sentiment, most Punjab exporters working in different industry verticals—including garments, sports goods and light engineering items—have begun to accept the ‘wishes’ of importers.

The rupee, which has been Asia’s worst-performing currency against the greenback, has fallen by a whopping 15% since July this year and is presently hovering above Rs51 a dollar.

“The excitement of the depreciating rupee against the dollar is short-lived, because buyers have started pressurising us to offer the maximum discount on export of products in view of dollar appreciation, which will yield more realisation in rupee terms,” Wool and Woollen Export Promotion Council chairman Ashok Jaidka told PTI today.

Exporters said buyers are projecting that the rupee will soon depreciate to Rs54 per US dollar and have asked for a discount ranging between 20%-25% for booking new orders after factoring in the projected rupee value.

“But after hard bargaining, they finally settle at an 8%-10% discount,” he said.

Exporters pointed out that buyers are even going to the extent of finding faults with products and have cited the poor economic scenario in their countries to get the maximum price reduction.

“It is buyers from Europe and USA, Middle East, African countries who are demanding a price cut,” said Engineering Export Promotion Council regional chairman SC Ralhan.

In the case of hand tools and other light engineering items, Punjab exporters are giving a 2%-5% discount to buyers, exporters said. Punjab’s annual exports amount to over Rs13,000 crore.

While there is some ‘forced’ reduction of product prices, in the sports good sector, there are internal arrangements between exporters and importers whereby exporters automatically decrease the rates of products after the exchange rate breaches a negotiated mark.

“We have to reduce our product rates once exchange rate goes beyond certain mark fixed with our buyer and it goes vice-versa when rupee appreciates,” a Jalandhar-based sports goods-maker disclosed, seeking anonymity.

He said buyers would always want their suppliers to reduce the price after they come to know that exchange rate fluctuation is giving good ‘returns’ to exporters.

However, for some exporters, the fall in the rupee value against the greenback is not seen as a boost in view of a consistent increase in input costs.

“Depreciating rupee is not a thing to cherish for us as input costs like steel have gone up substantially. Moreover, discontinuation of Duty Entitlement Pass Book Scheme was also a dampener for exports,” said Mr Ralhan.


EGoM meet on sugar exports postponed to Tuesday

The industry is seeking an early decision on the sugar export policy as global prices are softening and a further delay in announcing the policy would make exports unviable

New Delhi: The meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on Food scheduled for today to decide on granting permission for sugar exports has been postponed and is likely to be held tomorrow, reports PTI.

Last week, food minister KV Thomas had said the EGoM headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee would meet on 21st November to decide on sugar exports in the 2011-12 marketing year, which commenced last month.

A senior food ministry official said, “The EGoM meeting has been postponed for tomorrow.”

Sources said the ministry had yet not firmed up its proposal on the quantity of sugar that mills will be allowed to export.

The industry has been demanding permits for the export of 4 million tonnes of sugar in the 2011-12 marketing year (October-September), as the country’s production is estimated at 25-26 million tonnes against annual domestic demand of 22 million tonnes.

In the previous marketing year, the government had allowed 2.6 million tonnes of sugar exports, of which 1.5 million tonnes was through the open general licence (OGL) in three equal tranches.

The industry is seeking an early decision on the sugar export policy as global prices are softening and a further delay in announcing the policy would make exports unviable.

Sugar production in India—the world’s second-largest producer and biggest consumer—rose to 24.3 million tonnes in 2010-11 from nearly 19 million tonnes in the previous year.

In the current marketing year, the government has pegged output at 25 million tonnes, while industry has estimated production at 26 million tonnes.


Revised tatkal booking scheme is passenger friendly say experts

The Railways have reduced tatkal booking period to one day before the journey and also barred agents from booking tickets on the Internet from 8am to 10am

The Indian Railways have revised the Tatkal (urgent ticket booking) scheme, making it more ‘passenger-friendly’ by reducing the advance booking time to one day, excluding the journey date, from the earlier two days. The Railways also increased the booking time by one hour to 8am to 10am and has barred agents from booking tickets under the tatkal scheme over the Internet. The changes came into existence from Monday.

According to experts, these changes have been introduced following passengers’ complaints of not being able to book tatkal tickets mainly due to touts and agents who would book all the tickets immediately after the window was opened.

Passenger organisations have welcomed this move. Madhu Kotain, president, Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh, told Moneylife, that, “Tatkal was meant for emergency journeys. There is no logic in allowing booking such tickets three days prior to the journey. These new changes would benefit passengers  and curtail mischief of agents.”

The revised system will permit the passengers, to book maximum four tickets per PNR and tickets will be issued on producing identity proofs, from any one of the eight points mentioned by the Railways.

“The details of the identity proof will be captured by the system and indicated on the reserved tickets as well on the reservation chart. It will not be mandatory for the passenger(s) to go to the counter to book the Tatkal ticket, however, the proof will have to be sent in the aforementioned manner,” the Railway said in a statement.

Further there would be no refund given on the cancellation of confirmed Tatkal tickets, expect if such cancellation is due to cancellation of trains/late running of trains for more than 3 hours. However in case of partially confirmed tickets, refund will be given for waiting list passenger.

Subash Gupta, president, Mumbai Yatri Sangh, says, “Though the time has been reduced to one day, it will at least ensure that tickets can be booked. Earlier it was impossible to book the tickets due to agents’ mischief. These touts used to book tickets and then sell it at inflated prices. Overall these new rules are passenger friendly.”

The Railways say that “during the journey, the passenger, whose identity card number has been indicated on the ticket, will have to produce original proof of identity indicated on the ticket, failing which all the passengers booked on the ticket shall be treated as travelling without ticket and charged accordingly.”



gopinath prabhu

5 years ago

I think the move of Railway Ministry is passenger unfriendly. Rather than addressing the root cause it is trying to solve the proximity cause.

How can I be denied my refund if I am not travelling. While Railways is free to charge me 100% of tatkal fees as cancellation charges, it is bound to refund me regular travel charges as I have not travelled.

The time limit extension barring agents is also unethical. What about people who do not have internet and live in places where there are no railway offices. How do they book tatkal ticket ?

A very simple and ideal solution would be making it mandatory for all passengers to carry a proof of identity (for tatkal and normal booking) which will curb impersonation. If curbing 1 hour could not curb impersonation how can 2 hours curb it ?

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