Nirmala to meet export promotion councils tmrw

Monday, Feb 1, 2016,14:49 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has convened a meeting of export promotion councils tomorrow to discuss ways to promote India’s exports, which have remained in the negative zone since December 2014.

The councils attending the meeting include Council for Leather Exports and Engineering Export Promotion Council, an official said. Besides issues related to inadequate infrastructure, the exporters would raise matters related to timely refund of tax claims and more support in the forthcoming Budget.

During the meeting, we are going to raise the issue of affordable credit to exporters. The council will also ask the government to create a Rs 100 crore market development fund particularly for MSME sector, Council for Leather Exports Chairman Rafeeq Ahmed said.

He said the issue of timely refund of claims would also be raised in the meeting. The Commerce Ministry is doing several consultations with industry and state representatives in order to find ways to enhance the outbound shipments.

India’s exports contracted for the 13th month in a row, dipping about 15 per cent in December to USD 22.2 billion due to steep decline in engineering and petroleum shipments.

The cumulative exports during the April-December period declined by 18.06 per cent to USD 196.6 billion. Outbound shipments of as many as 15 key sectors, including petroleum, engineering and leather, dipped last month.

The government, however, is hopeful that the incentives such as 3 per cent interest subsidy scheme and enhanced duty drawback rates would help in pushing the exports.