Chidambaram promises sops for exporters next month

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 28, 2013 14:50 hrs

New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) Exporters can look forward to some incentives in next month's foreign trade policy, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Thursday.

"I look forward to the changes that will be made to the foreign trade policy next month and I assure my support to measures that will be taken to boost exports of goods and services," Chidambaram said in his budget speech.

He announced some sops to a handful of sectors like leather, gems and jewellery and rice-bran oil cake.

Recognising leather and leather goods as a thrust sector for exports, the finance minister cut the duty on specified machinery for manufacture of leather and leather goods, including footwear, from 7.5 per cent to five per cent.

Import duties on pre-forms of precious and semi-precious stones were also proposed to be cut from 10 per cent to two per cent.

India's exports started declining since May last year due to fall in demand in Europe, the US and important Asian markets such as China and Singapore.

In January, exports came out of the negative zone, posting a tiny growth.

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma had announced a number of sops for exporters in December 2012 that included interest rate subvention for select sectors and direct incentives for exporting specific items and selling to specific markets.

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