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New FTP to arrest declining trend of handicraft exports
01
Sep '09
Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry is going to establish two towns of Export Excellence at Srinagar and Islamabad in J&K, under its new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) for the year 2009-2014. The global slowdown has resulted in a steep plunge of handicraft exports.

This is the first time, that the handicraft sector has received attention and due recognition in the FTP by including all handicrafts items as 'Special Focused Products' and making them entitled to 5 per cent duty credit scrips. The special focused products shall be granted duty scrips equivalent to 5 per cent of F.O.B. value of exports for shipments made from 27 August, 2009 onwards.

There are a number of government's initiatives in this new FTP to curtail the declining trend of country's handicraft exports, stated Mr. Raj Kumar Malhotra, the Chairman of Export Promotion Council of Handicrafts (EPCH). This scheme will assist handicraft sector to stand competitively in the international market.

All the handicraft products had not been covered in the earlier scheme of Vishesh Krishi and Gram Udyog Yojana (VKGUY), but the 'Special Focused Products' Scheme is much wider and covers all the handicraft items. In order to promote the handicrafts from these regions, a short term plan has also been framed out by the EPCH.

The handicraft sector has also been included for higher allocation in the Market Development Assistance (MDA) and Market Access Scheme (MAI), provided by the Ministry of Commerce.

A few programs have also been prepared by the council to market the products of handicraft sector in focused as well as general markets. Many programs of Reverse Buyers-Seller Meets (RBSM) will also be conducted under this program. This scheme is expected to benefit the exporters.

EPCH's recommendation to reduce the customs duty on Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme (EPCG) from 3 percent to 0 percent in this FTP has been accepted. The export obligation shall be six times of the custom duty and same is to be fulfilled in six years.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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