Nath hints at tax sops, steps to correct inverted duty structure

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New Delhi, Feb 16 (UNI) Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath today hinted at tax sops in the Budget 2008-09 for exporters to neutralise the adverse impact of the continuous appreciation of the Rupee.

''I am fighting where I have to,'' Mr Nath said in his address to the 80th Annual General Meeting(AGM) of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry(FICCI).

Mr Nath was responding to a question from an industrialist as to whether the government will take measures in the Budget to counter the income loss to the business community following the almost secular rise in the value of the Rupee and hardening of interest rates.

Mr Nath said there was merit in the argument and he was doing all that was necessary to help the exporting community.

The Minister also said that issues pertaining to the inverted duty structure need to be resolved in the next Budget as India would be entering into Regional Trade Agreements in the next one year.

Most of the speech of Mr Nath was devoted to explaining the content of the new global architectrure and the positioning of India in the new scheme of things.

He said with India planning to enter into a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN and the biggest ever agreement on trade and investment with the European Union, the world of Indian business would no longer be the same.

He said protests from the business community against Free Trade Agreements was redundant and misinformed.

The logic that India is entering into such agreements is that it wants to occupy the world space in this regard. If it fails to do so, then it would have lost an opportunity with some other country or countries taking that place.

He, however, said as has been the experience in the past, three or four years down the line, Indian business will compliment the UPA government for doing the right thing.

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