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New Trade Policy to improve competitiveness - FIEO
Apr '13
Mr M Rafeeque Ahmed, President, FIEO said that the Foreign Trade Policy announcement while maintaining stability of the policy provided improvement in it to add to competitiveness. Extension of Zero Duty EPCG Scheme will help in expansion and modernization of the units which is need of the hour.

The Policy has also given a boost to domestic sourcing for spurring manufacturing growth by providing relaxation in export obligation on domestic procurement of capital goods and uses of promotional scrips for domestic procurement.

These initiatives will compress imports and help in reducing the trade deficit, which has touched US$191 billion for the previous fiscal. FIEO President said that the use of e-BRC for facilitating VAT refunds, online export obligation discharge, electronic verification of focus market and focus product scrips will reduce transaction time and cost. President FIEO hoped that the Committee on Transaction Cost will come up with revolutionary and out of box suggestion to address it.

Mr Ahmed welcomed extension of incremental incentivisation scheme and coverage of 53 countries of Latin America and Africa under it to provide a fillip to exports. While extension of interest subvention to textile and certain engineering products would provide relief, Mr M Rafeeque Ahmed advocated for availability of foreign currency loan to MSME sector by asking RBI to earmark 50 per cent of the swap facility to be utilized by banks for financing MSME exporters. Pragmatic announcement on SEZ by reducing the land requirement by 50 per cent and linking it to built up area will renew the interest in SEZ scheme but some concession on tax front needs to be given to SEZ units to make it an engine of growth added Mr Ahmed.

However President FIEO was disappointed with the withdrawal of Status Holder Incentive Scheme and change in criteria for calculation of benefit under Served from India Scheme which will hit status holders and Service Sectors badly, particularly the hotel industry which is also feeling the pinch with drop in occupancy rate. Another setback has been lack of focus on marketing as no announcement of an Export development Fund was made. The mid- term review will enable to take mid -year corrections in exports particularly for sectors not doing well in exports added FIEO Chief.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO)

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