Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Mar 07, 2002
Industry & Economy
Exports & Imports
Maran for greater role of States in exports
The Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Mr Murasoli Maran, listening to exporters at the open house on the Exim Policy in Kolkata on Wednesday.
KOLKATA, March 6
IN a bid to involve the States in export promotion in a big way, the Union Commerce Ministry is formulating a detailed scheme, under which funds support would be extended to States for export infrastructure and other related work.
The Union Finance Minister, announcing the Budget proposals recently had earmarked Rs 330 crore for the Commerce Ministry for its various export promotion activities.
Talking to presspersons here on Wednesday, the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Mr Murasoli Maran, said detailed guidelines are now being drawn for this scheme, and a formal announcement would be made in the Exim Policy statement, scheduled for March 31.
He was here to participate in a pre-Exim Policy interface with exporters of the eastern region, organised jointly by Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) and Bharat Chamber of Commerce.
Commenting on the favourable export growth of 18 per cent achieved for January 2002, against the low growth of around 1.55 per cent (in dollar terms) during the first 9 months of the current financial year, the Minister expressed confidence that the revised export target of 3 per cent would be achieved. He said there was already a perceptible revival in the US market, India's major trading partner, and going by the general upward trend, "we are confident of meeting the modest 3 per cent target."
Mr Maran said he would like to believe that a turnaround in exports was on account of the interventionist package introduced by the Government that included steps like adjustments in drawback schedule, removal of value caps on some of the DEPB rates and increased rates for some residual categories to 5 per cent from 2 per cent. In this context, he called for greater government-industry partnership to boost exports, which was now a national priority.
This is particularly necessary, if we have to achieve 1 per cent share of world exports (at $80billion) by 2007, up from the current 1.6 per cent share ($45 billion), he pointed out.
Commenting on the medium-term export strategy, over which research has been carried out, Mr Maran said States will now have to show more interest in the new scheme, realising that more exports will mean more jobs for its people. Under the proposed plan States will get incentives for export promotion. Stating that market intelligence was the key, the Minister it was possible to reach a much higher export growth than planned.
Responding to exporters' apprehensions on higher transaction costs owing to procedural problems at land customs stations and the high port charges at Kolkata port, Mr Maran gave an assurance that the issues will be taken up immediately with the concerned ministries. Promising transparency in policy matters, the Minister expected reciprocity on the part of trade.
Outlining the basic objectives behind the medium term strategy for exports, Mr Dipak Chatterjee, Commerce Secretary, said transparency and easy to understand schemes, besides simplification of procedures now being attempted should reduce transaction costs for exporters.
According to Mr N.L. Lakhanpal, Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), the Ministry would take a final view of all the problems faced by exporters before formulating the Exim Policy statement for 2002-07. He also assured the State leather units support by the Ministry in their hour of crisis, when they can neither relocate themselves at the Calcutta Leather Complex, as per the Supreme Court orders, as the Central Effluent Treatment Plant was still not ready, nor can they remain at site in violation of court orders.
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