labels: Economy - general
Interim trade policy to ease procedural hurdles for exporters news
23 February 2009

The government is likely to remove several procedural hurdles for exporters when commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath unveils an interim foreign trade policy on 26-27 February.

The interim trade policy will not contain any financial or policy packages but will announce procedural changes and simplifications in several export segments, commerce secretary G K Pillai said.

The government may also give exporters more time to meet their obligations in return for duty-free import of machinery and reimbursement of taxes without waiting for export proceeds.

The interim measures will be announced as an annual supplement to the five-year policy 2004-09, he said.

Any further concessions to exporters will come when the finance minister replies to the debate on the interim budget in Parliament early this week, he said. It would be up to the new government to announce a full- fledged trade policy, he added.

He said the interim measures, to be announced in the interim trade policy, will address the immediate concerns of Indian exporters who are facing shortfall in demand for their goods in the recession-hit overseas markets like the US.

The government reviews trade policy every year depending on the trade scenario although it has a five-year tenure.

India's exports which totalled $162 billion in 2007-08 was expected to touch $250 billion in the current fiscal. But, with the global economic downturn affecting demand in export markets the country will see a wide gap in its exports this fiscal.

The government had, earlier, announced two stimulus packages to the export sector, whose real impact is yet to be realised. Concessions have been granted in pre-shipment and post-shipment and dollar financing to boost exports.

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Interim trade policy to ease procedural hurdles for exporters