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Indian govt announces special scheme to boost apparel exports
Oct '11
The Government of India has announced a new Special Focus Market Scheme (SFMS) to keep the growth momentum in the foreign trade and to boost apparel exports.

Releasing the annual supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy 2009-14, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said the Government would provide four percent duty credit to exporters under the new SFMS.

The objective of SFMS is to increase the competitiveness of Indian exports to 41 countries, including 12 from Latin America, 22 from Africa and seven from CIS countries. Shipments to these countries will also be eligible for additional 1 percent duty credit besides 3 percent already being given, taking the total duty credit available to 4 percent.

For the apparel sector, SFMS includes all the items covered under chapters 61 and 62 of the US Harmonized Tariff Schedule (Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted). The duty credit would be available to exports made during April 01, 2011 to March 31, 2012 at 2 percent of FOB value of exports.

Many textile and handicraft items have been included in the expanded Focus Product Scheme (FPS) of 130 products. Textile items like polyester textured yarn, fully drawn yarn of polyester, viscose rayon type yarn, polyester chips, woven cotton fabrics denim 85 percent cotton over 200G/M2, unbleached or bleached cotton fabrics, dyed cotton fabrics knitted or crocheted have been included under the scheme. The items covered under FPS are entitled to get duty credit scrip at 2 percent of FOB value of exports.

The Minister also announced 'Niryat Bandhu', a novel scheme for International Business Mentoring of first generation entrepreneurs. The officer called Niryat Bandhu would function in the 'Mentoring' arena and would be a 'Handholding' experiment for the Young Turks in International Business enterprises. Under the scheme, officers of DGFT will be investing time and knowledge primarily to mentor the interested individuals who want to conduct the business in a legal way. Over time, it is aimed at developing a class of businessmen who carry out the international business in an ethical manner.

These schemes are in addition to the 2 percent interest subvention on rupee credit to exporters of handlooms, handicrafts and carpets, already announced by the RBI on October 11. It is expected to cost the exchequer around Rs. 8-9 billion.

These benefits together are likely to help the exporters bear the slump in major traditional markets like the US and Europe and will cost the exchequer Rs. 17 billion.

Mr. Anand Sharma also said that the Indian Government will soon sign a broad trade and investment pact with the European Union. He revealed that the Government is negotiating similar pacts with several countries across different continents to boost trade.

India's exports have risen by 52.1 percent to US$160 billion in the first six months of the current fiscal and the Central Government hopes to achieve the target of US$ 300 billion for the current fiscal.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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