The Central Government on Thursday approved an additional Rs.800-crore for extending interest subsidy to exporters till March 2012 in the backdrop of slowdown in major global markets in Europe and the U.S.

The scheme under which 2 per cent interest subvention is given to commercial banks for their concessional lending to exporters has been extended for the current fiscal year for handicrafts, handlooms, carpets and small and medium enterprises (SME) sectors.

The approval was given by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

Till date, Rs.1,654 crore has been released to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for reimbursement of interest subvention, whereas total requirement projected by the RBI for the period up to March 2011 is Rs.3,892 crore.

As much as Rs.800 crore is required for implementation of the scheme till March, 2012.

The eurozone crisis has been biting Indian exports which grew year-on-year by 10.8 per cent to $19.9 billion in October, the lowest in the last two years.

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