Stop looking for sops; Mukherjee to exporters

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New Delhi, Feb 8 (PTI) Ahead of the Budget, FinanceMinister Pranab Mukherjee today said exporters will have to"fight" their own battle and stop expecting fiscal incentivesfrom the government.

"Government only can play its part. Ultimately, exporterswill have to compete and fight their own battle in theoverseas markets," Mukherjee said here adding "they have tostop looking towards the government for sops".

Unveiling a report that listed measures for cuttingexport transaction costs, the Finance Minister said thecountry''s exporters must innovate and become more productive.

The Government will present the Union Budget on February28.

However, the Finance Minister expressed optimism thatIndia would be able to achieve the USD 200 billion exporttarget this fiscal.

Overseas shipments have already reached USD 164.7 billionduring April-December 2010-11 and according to CommerceMinistry''s assessment they may well touch USD 215-220 billion.

Referring to high transaction cost for exports, estimatedat 7-10 per cent of the cargo value, Mukherjee said thegovernment was committed to help reduce the same.

With exports entering negative zone in October 2008 dueto economic slowdown, the government had given several fiscalsops such as two per cent interest subsidy and incentives forexporting products to select markets.

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