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Stable export growth reqd to raise leather exports: Nath

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Nov 22 (UNI) In order to raise leather exports to the projected seven billion dollars by 2010-11, annual export growth rate at an average of 20 per cent must be sustained and additional capacities must be created with modern production technologies, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said today.

Delivering keynote address at the India Leather Summit 2006 -- Towards Global Dominance, organised by the Council for Leather Exports (CLE) here, Mr Nath said that Indian leather products will get greater market access under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime.

''Indian leather products will not only get greater market access in developed and industrialised countries in view of tariff elimination and reduction mechanisms through free trade agreements (FTAs), regional trade agreements (RTAs) and preferential trade agreements (PTAs). But the cost competitiveness of the domestic manufacturers will improve further in view of gradual phasing out of import duties in India on inputs and machinery.'' The government has been playing a proactive role through appropriate policy support measures and financial assistance, said Mr Nath, emphasising that leather industry had been identified as a thrust sector in view of its potential for creating huge employment opportunities.

Further, an integrated leather development programme is being implemented with the central allocation of Rs 400 crore, focussing on modernisation of manufacturing facilities in all segments of the leather sector.

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