Seafood exporters happy as export incentive stays

Monday, 31 March 2008, 04:41 Hrs
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Kochi: The crisis-hit seafood industry appears to have heaved a sigh of relief as seafood exports did not come on the list of 50 items that have been removed from a popular export incentive scheme by the central government on Friday.

Every time a shipment is made and the proceeds get cleared by banks, the exporter after applying to the director general of foreign trade gets a credit by virtue of the duty entitlement pass book (DEPB) scheme.

The seafood exporters are entitled to get a credit of eight percent of the total value of exports under the scheme.

"We are certainly elated by the decision of the central government not to include the seafood exports on the list of 50 items. Because of the weakening of the dollar and the imposition of duties by the US government, we are in deep crisis," Anwar Hashim, president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India told IANS Sunday.

Representatives of Indian seafood exporters earlier this month had urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other union ministers to intervene to save the crisis-ridden industry.

The total export of seafood this fiscal is lower by 25 percent in quantity and 20 percent in value as compared to the previous fiscal.

One main reason is severe competition from China, Vietnam and Thailand, which offer cheaper products.

In the 2006-07 fiscal, export of marine products from India set an all time record of 612,641 tonnes valued at 83 billion ($2.1 billion).

Close to two million people in the country depend on the seafood industry for their livelihood.

"This DEPB scheme is vital for us because our margins are dwindling and if this was removed, it would have been curtains for our industry. We seek more help and support from the centre and we are looking forward," added Hashim.
Source: IANS
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