Budget overlooked challenges faced by export sector: FIEO

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New Delhi, Mar 1 (UNI) The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has expressed disappointment over General Budget 2008-09, saying it has not addressed the problems faced by exporters in view of appreciating rupee and stagnating traditional markets.

Reacting to the Union Budget proposals for exporters, FIEO President Ganesh Kumar Gupta said their demand for providing zero rating of exports through refund of state and local levies, exempting FBT on genuine business expenses, exemption from all service taxes on services used during the course of exports to provide a level playing field to Indian exporters had been disregarded.

At a time when setting up of an "Export Marketing Fund" for the MSME sector had become essential in the present scenario with export orders drying up, the FIEO chief said it was disappointing to see the non-extension of the sunset clause for EOU, EHTP and STPI, besides temporary reintroduction of 80-HHC to encourage investment in export manufacturing.

"Increase in allocation for textiles upgradation fund and integrated textiles park besides mega clusters schemes for handloom and handicrafts will not provide immediate support to the textiles sector," which was need of the hour, Mr Gupta said.

However, the only silver lining for the export sector, he said, lay in the gradual move towards GST through reduction in excise duty from 16 per cent to 14 per cent and a few concessions given to sports goods and gem and jewellery sector through reduced customs duty on their inputs.

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