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Handicrafts sector for export expansion

Mar '07
Handicrafts sector is one of the largest foreign exchange earners and employment provider in India. World market for handicrafts and giftware is estimated at $235 billion of which India's share is a meagre $3 billion, about 1.6 percent of total market.

The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) as part of marketing strategy has set up "India Expo Centre and Mart" on New Delhi-Greater Noida Expressway.

The expo and mart provide window to the world for Indian handicrafts and other synergic products like handloom, carpets, jute and silk apart from providing marketing opportunities round the year.

Expo Mart showcases Indian handicrafts and ethnic giftware for foreign customers throughout the year to enable them to source products at one place.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram may provide infrastructure project benefit to India Expo Centre and Mart under Section 80(IA) of Income Tax Act. This will help boost handicraft trade and transform this facility into a full-fledged centralized hub for export promotion.

Finance Minister may also consider setting up Rs1000 crore corpus to push Indian handicrafts to compete with rivals like China, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey and some Latin American countries.

Setting up product specific special economic zone [SEZ] for handicrafts and cottage sectors is important to boost exports.

Income Tax exemption is admissible under Section 10A of Income Tax Act, 1961 to SEZ units manufacturing or producing articles for export purposes.

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