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Mr Nath unveils Final Annual Supplement to FTP
12
Apr '08
Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, while releasing the Annual Supplement to Foreign Trade Policy, has stated that the Foreign Trade Policy initiatives in the last four years has resulted in increased trade activity and has generated additional employment of 136 lakh.

The Minister stated that exports are not just about earning foreign exchange, but about boosting manufacturing sector, creating large scale economic activities and generating employment opportunities.

India's total merchandise trade (both exports and imports) will be US $ 400 billion during 2007-08, accounting for nearly 1.5% of world trade.

The Minister stated that if trade in services is added, our commercial engagement with the world would be to the tune of US $ 525 billion. Shri Kamal Nath said that the new Foreign Trade Policy (2004-09) has more than doubled India's exports in 4 years.

The country's exports in 2007-08 has exceeded US $ 155 billion from US $ 63 billion in 2004, registering a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23%, year on year, way ahead of the average growth rate of international trade.

Lauding the achievements in exports that have been accomplished in the face of appreciation of rupee, high interest rates, spiraling oil prices, slow down in major trade markets, and withdrawal of some GSP benefits to India by other countries, Shri Kamal Nath stressed that India should achieve 5% share of world trade by 2020.

“As a means to achieve this, an export target of US $ 200 billion has been set for 2008-09”, he added. Congratulating the exporters for their resilience, the Minister announced a slew of innovative steps in the final annual supplement to FTP 2004-09, viz, extension of DEPB scheme till May 2009; interest at 6% for delayed refunds; reduction of customs duty payable under EPCG scheme from 5% to 3%; lowering of average export obligation under EPCG scheme; extension of income tax exemption to 100% EOUs beyond 2009; additional duty-free credit of 2.5% under VKGUY; additional credit of 5% for sports and goods industries under Focus Product Scheme; special focus initiative for IT sector; ensuring zero-rating of exports as far as domestic taxes are concerned; enhanced incentive of 2.5% under Focus Product Scheme; addition of 10 more countries in the Focus Market Scheme; inclusion of IT and ITES and R&D in natural sciences under the Industrial Park Scheme; establishment of EPC for Telecom; extension of re-import of branded jewellery to one year.

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