Anand Sharma announces measures to boost exports
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma announced additional incentives to boost exports here today.
These incentives came in the backdrop of the annual supplement of the foreign trade policy announced on June 5, 2012.
Speaking to media here, Sharma said that the two percent Interest Subvention Scheme on rupee export credit which is available to certain specific sectors including handicrafts, carpets, handloom, readymade garments, processed agriculture products, sports goods and toys, has been given an extension up to March 31, 2014.
"At present, the Scheme is scheduled to end on March 31, 2013. Along with this, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for all sectors will now be able to avail the benefits of the Scheme," he said.
Sharma, while highlighting that the engineering sector has been a major contributor for both job creation and value addition of Indian manufacturing, extended the benefits of two percent interest subvention to certain specific sub-sectors of the engineering sector.
"They will receive this benefit from the last quarter of the current financial year, that is, from 1st January 2013 till March 31, 2014," he added.
Sharma also announced the introduction of a "pilot scheme" of two percent Interest Subvention for Project Exports through EXIM Bank for countries of SAARC region, Africa and Myanmar.
Speaking about the project, Sharma said that "the scheme will be operational immediately for a combined worth of USD 500 million to begin with. The interest subvention would be linked to the Buyer's Credit Scheme which was introduced in the last financial year being implemented through EXIM Bank, ECGC and the National Export Insurance Account."
He further added that the "objective of the scheme is to boost India's exports in these countries by providing long term concessional credit through EXIM Bank, as co-financing in infrastructure sectors such as drinking water, housing, irrigation, road projects, renewable energy, etc."
Sharma said that a "decision has been taken to grant incentive on incremental exports made during the period January-March 2013 over the base period January-March 2012."
He added that the incentive "would be available to an IEC holder at the rate of two percent on the incremental growth of exports made to USA, EU and countries of Asia." But this "would not include deemed exports, service exports, third party exports, export-turnover of SEZ units etc.," said Sharma.
Apart from these, Sharma announced that five new countries have been added under the Focus Market Scheme while Eritrea has been added under the special focus market scheme.
The five countries being added under FMS are New Zealand, Cayman Islands, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria. Under FMS duty credit of three per cent is given on the FoB value of exports while under the duty credit is four per cent.