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Board of Trade to meet on Tuesday

K.R. Srivats

New Delhi, March 13

The Board of Trade is to meet here on Tuesday to invite views and suggestions from trade and industry for the forthcoming annual supplement of the Foreign Trade Policy 2004-09, which is due to be released by the end of the month. Industrialist Mr Kumarmangalam Birla, chairs the Board of Trade.

Apart from highlighting the infrastructural bottlenecks and the international challenges, the exporting community is likely to pitch for the continuation of the duty entitlement passbook (DEPB) scheme, which serves more than 50 per cent of the Indian exports in value terms. "We want a clear cut announcement from the Commerce Minister that the DEPB scheme would be continued. Whenever the Government comes out with a new scheme, exporters must be given six months time to make the switchover," Mr Ajai Sahai, Director-General of Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), told Business Line.

He also said that FIEO would seek a scheme whereby exporters could send intermediate products to a third country.

And then export finished goods from that country in their name, while receiving the forex realisations for the final products in India.

A case in point could be of fabric exported to a third country by an exporter and converted into garment in that country and exported from there, while the entire proceeds for the garment exports being received in India.

The Assocham Secretary General, Mr D. S. Rawat, said that the chamber would highlight the problems and issues faced by the domestic industry, especially in the wake of India's efforts to reach Asean tariff levels and also on account of the free trade agreements (FTAs) being entered into by the country.

"While Indian industry has been opened up to foreign competition, the environmental factors that are required by an industry to be competitive are completely missing, thus putting the Indian industry at a great disadvantage vis-a-vis its competitors," he said.

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