Govt unveils new trade policy aimed at boosting exports
MDT/PTI 05 June 2012

India would be able to sustain 20% export growth in the current fiscal and to encourage exports the government had announced an interest subvention scheme which would give 2% interest subsidy to handlooms, handicrafts, carpets and SME sector

New Delhi: Amid global economic problems, the Indian government on Tuesday unveiled seven-point strategy to boost exports which include extension of interest subsidy scheme by one year till March 2013, reports PTI.

“We have now decided to extend the scheme (interest subvention) for another year till March 2013 and expand its coverage to include other labour-intensive sectors namely toys, sports goods, processed agricultural products and readymade garments”, commerce minister Anand Sharma said while releasing annual supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy in the capital.

“The underline philosophy of this year’s supplement is based on seven broad principles”, he said, adding these would include added thrust on employment-intensive industry and continuation of market diversification strategy.

The minister also exuded confidence that India would be able to sustain 20% export growth in the current fiscal. “It is our expectation that with these measures, we shall be able to sustain an annual export growth of 20% this fiscal,” he said.

India’s exports grew by 21% in 2011-12 to touch $303 billion.

To encourage exports, the government came out with an interest subvention scheme under which 2% interest subsidy was given to handlooms, handicrafts, carpets and SME sector.

The scheme, which has been extended by a year, was to end on March 2012.

The seven-pillars to boost exports, Mr Sharma said, would also include efforts to increase exports from the north-east region and provide incentive for manufacturing of green goods.

Besides, he said, there would be an “endeavour to reduce transaction cost through procedural simplification and reduction of human interface.”

Efforts, the minister said, would be made to promote technological upgradation of exports to retain a competitive edge in global markets and encourage domestic manufacturing for inputs to export industry, thus reducing dependence on imports.

On market diversification, Mr Sharma said, market-linked focus product scheme has been extended till the end of the current fiscal for exports to the US and European Union, in respect of apparel sector.

As regards the Special Economic Zones (SEZs), he said, “we will come out with new guidelines to make the operation of the SEZ policy more buoyant.”

Besides, the minister said the government would revamp the 100% Export Oriented Unit (EOU) scheme in the next few months.

In order to boost value-added exports and encourage technology upgradation, Mr Sharma said, the zero-duty EPCG (Export Promotion Credit Guarantee) scheme would be extended by an year to 31 March 2013.

The benefits under the scheme, he said, would also be available to those units which had taken benefits under the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS).

The EPCG scheme will also be available for those who had surrendered their benefits under the Status Holder Incentive Scrip (SHIS) scheme.

Following are the highlights of the supplementary annual Foreign Trade Policy:

* Government aiming 20% export growth in 2012-13
* 2% interest subsidy scheme extended till March 2013
* 0% duty EPCG scheme for technology up-gradation extended till March 2013
* Incentives for exports from north-eastern states
* Shipments from Delhi, Mumbai through post, courier or e-commerce to get export benefits
* Single revolving bank guarantee for different export deals
* Seven new markets added to Focus Market Scheme
* Market linked focus product scheme extended till March 2013 for apparel export to US and EU
* Ahmedabad, Kolhapur and Shaharanpur new Towns of Export Excellence
* Govt to come out with new guidelines to promote SEZs
* Focus on market diversification to continue
* Steps announced to reduce transaction cost of exports
* Foreign Trade Policy document made more user friendly
* 13 shows abroad to promote Brand India

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