'Commerce Min's FTP will Boost Indian export'

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{image-ICC LOGO_12042008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Kolkata, Apr 12: The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) said the Annual Supplement-2008 to Foreign Trade Policy 2008-09 will boost India's export in a dynamic and globalised economy. ICC Secretary General Rajeev Singh, while welcoming the changes announced by the Commerce Minister in the FTP, said the global economy was slowing down, the rupee was appreciating and inflation was eroding the export competitiveness.

He said stocking to the target of $200 billion for 2008-09 and the long term vision of increasing the world trade share to five per cent by 2020, an eight-fold increase in exports through sustained growth of 25 per cent for the next 12 years, was an appreciating effort by the commerce ministry. The decision to set up a joint task force to draw up an action plan was also welcomed.

The reduction of duty to three per cent under Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme will help set up capacities at lower cost. The decision to allow duty credits under reward schemes for exports made in discharge of obligation under EPCG scheme was a welcome overdue measure, Singh added.

The problem of maintaining annual average exports was partly addressed by this act, Mr Singh said adding that the premier trading houses can maintain average of past five years and for sectors that have slowed down, the requirement was being diluted and the issue needed a more comprehensive treatment. The extension of Duty Entitlement Passbook (DEPB) scheme for another year was widely expected, necessary and welcome step and so was unexpected but necessary to extend income tax concession to export oriented units (EOU).

The increased rewards under Focus Product scheme, wider coverage under Focus Market scheme, Vishesh Krishi Upaj Yojana scheme and Hi-Tech Products exports scheme, interest payment for delayed refunds, continuing the interest subsidy scheme for exports and the steps announced to reduce transportation costs for exports were also appreciated, he said.

The ICC secretary general said the measures like extension of income tax concessions to export-oriented units will particularly help the Eastern states like West Bengal and also the Northeast because of their huge export potential fuelled by advantages like strategic location, and proximity to the South East Asian nations.

The decision to include specific items for benefits under Hi-Tech Products Scheme will boost the 11 hardware sectors, and this will prove to be advantageous for a state like West Bengal, where IT was an area of high potential growth.

The harried exporters needed better services from the offices of the Director General of Foreign Trade and revamping of certain schemes like the Duty Free Import Authorisation scheme, Mr Singh demanded.

UNI

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