Offer subsidies to exports sector: Assocham

Offer subsidies to exports sector: Assocham

Monday, 24 August 2009, 01:41 Hrs
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New Delhi: The government should announce subsidies to the crisis-hit exporters in the forthcoming foreign trade policy to make India's exports sector more competitive, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) has said.

"Subsidies need to be extended to Indian exporters by substantially reducing excise and local levies and other export duties," Assocham president Sajjan Jindal said in a paper submitted to Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.

The government will announce the foreign trade policy for the next five years Aug 27.

India should create a space for its products in overseas markets and earn for a reasonably substantial foreign exchange through exports, the chamber said in the report.

"The country needs foreign exchange to correct trade imbalances in its exports and imports."

India's exports sector has seen a contraction for nine straight months starting from October 2008.

Assocham has also urged the government to allocate funds for expanding the capacity of major ports.

"This is because majority of India's ports are over-congested and no capacity expansion is taking place in many of them," the chamber said.

The paper further said exports should not be subjected to minimum alternate tax (MAT).

"Export proceeds shouldn't be subjected to MAT as it amounts to various bureaucratic hassles and encourages unnecessary government intervention and interference in a smooth flow of exports," Jindal said.

Export logistics is another matter of concern, according to Assocham.

"Freight rates are too high for exports as there are different slabs for different products. The freight rate slab needs to be rationalised."

The industry lobby has further sought the intervention of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to ease the credit squeeze.

The RBI has to ensure that commercial banks and other financial institutions give enough credit to exporters, Assocham said.
Source: IANS
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