Bail-out package to be presented to apex panel next week: Pillai

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New Delhi, Nov 21 (UNI) Commerce Secretary G K Pillai today said the bail-out package for various export sectors will be presented to the Prime Minister's high-powered committee by the end of next week.

''The Committee of Secretaries will submit its recommendations by the end of next week to the apex committee and the decision (bailout package) will be taken soon,'' Mr Pillai told reporters here on the sidelines of an industry event, organised by FICCI.

The Committee of Secretaries, which had detailed discussions with the various export sectors, is expected to finish the exercise by Monday, he said.

The high-powered committee chaired by the Prime Minister, which include Finance Minister, Commerce and Industry Minister and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, was set up to handle the impact of global crisis on India.

The relief package, he said, will factor in the difficulties being faced by exporters and the fall-out of the global financial crisis, ''the worst of which will come in March-April 2009.'' Mr Pillai said a meeting of Chief Ministers has been convened in the first week of December to discuss issues relating to the export sector and expediting the payment of dues to the industry, including refund of VAT.

Mr Pillai said the impact of the global meltdown has been seen on the Indian economy in late September and October, adding that it will feel the impact of this financial crisis for at least next six months.

''The government has taken many steps to infuse the liquidity into the system...and some more measures will be taken, if needed,''the Secretary said.

He said the export during October this year stood at 12.8 billion dollars against 14.6 billion dollars during the corresponding period a year ago, thereby posting a 12.32 per cent fall.

Mr Pillai said the labour-intensive sectors such handicrafts, gems and jewellery and textiles had been worstly affected by the slump.

Textile sector could shed 5,00,000 jobs in the next five months, he said, quoting textile ministry estimates.

During April-October this year, the exports has registered a growth of 21.2 per cent against a target of 25 per cent.

''By the end of December, the government will review its export target of 200 billion dollars for 2008-09,'' he said.

Seeing the current trends, he said exports as well as imports will slow down.

When asked how many jobs have been cut in the industry, the Secretary said a survey has been started and a sample survey would be released by next week, containing about 800 companies.

He urged exporters to bring to the notice of the finance and commerce ministries, bank braches that were hesitant or unwilling to lend, despite explicit instructions from the Reserve Bank of India.

The Secretary said the government would be most sympathetic to employment-intensive sectors such as textiles, gems&jewellery and handicrafts.

He said, the government would actively consider reinstating the duty drawback and DEPB rates which were lowered before the financial crisis gripped the world and the rupee was appreciating.

It would also strengthen the anti-dumping mechanism to ward off large scale dumping from China, Korea and Taiwan, Mr Pillai said.

UNI SBA MP KN2011

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