Feb. 27 – India’s commerce and Industry minister Kamal Nath has set an export target of US$200 billion during the fiscal year 2009-10. Due to poor economic conditions the government has also lowered this fiscal year’s export target from US$200 billion to US$175 billion. India’s export sector grew 30 percent from January 2008 to September, however in January this year the sector was down 16 percent from the year earlier. Experts estimate the slowdown in exports to continue until March this year.
By way of offering exporters 26 additional sops on Thursday, including interest rate subsidies on export loans, enhanced reimbursement of duties, and a longer period to fulfill export obligations etc. the government hopes to decrease the burden on exporters. Nath also said that the most affected industries leather and textile would get a special package of Rs 325 crore (US$64 million) and the threshold limit for recognition as premier trading house would be lowered from Rs 10,000 crore (US$1.9 trillion) to Rs 7,500 crore (US$1.5 trillion).
Some of the measures undertaken by the government include issuing duty credit scrip’s of export promotion schemes and duty entitlement passbook scheme (DEPB) to exporters as soon as they produce the shipping bill. Earlier, exporters were required to submit bank realization certificates, which come 10 to 12 months after the export consignments are sent.
The government has also extended the export obligation period under the advance authorization scheme used by exporters to import duty-free inputs for export goods from 24 to 36 months. Exporters using this scheme have to commit an export obligation of a certain value. But due to fewer orders from overseas markets, exporters were finding it difficult to fulfill commitments under the scheme, the Business Standard reported.