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Trade policy adds incentives

Less red tape. More new markets. Some financial sweeteners. That is the new foreign trade policy to aid embattled exporters.

business Updated: Aug 27, 2009 21:58 IST
HT Correspondent

Less red tape. More new markets. Some financial sweeteners. That is the new foreign trade policy to aid embattled exporters.

The government on Thursday unveiled a mix of procedural measures and fiscal incentives to trade with non-traditional destinations to bolster export order books drying out in two top regional markets—the US and the European Union. The two zones account for 55 per cent of exports totalling $168 billion.

The new policy was the latest booster to India’s exports that contracted for the ninth successive month in June, plunging by 27.7 per cent year-on-year.

“New emerging markets have been given a special focus to enable competitive exports… Incentive schemes are being rationalised to identify leading products which would catalyse the next phase of export growth,” Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said as he unveiled the policy.

Sharma said the government will strive to get rebates in goods and services tax (GST) on exports for all indirect taxes and levies. The government plans to introduce a nation-wide uniform GST from next year that would subsume the complex web of indirect taxes imposed by state governments.

Exporters welcomed the policy, but wished there was more. “The introduction of zero duty capital goods scheme will add to expansion and modernization of production base at a time when investment is drying up in export industries,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President A Sakthivel said.