The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry is understood to have completed the performance review of export-oriented sectors and would soon come up with firm recommendations for providing sops to those sectors which continue to suffer despite a turnaround in exports during November this year. Officials in the Commerce Ministry said that labour-intensive sectors, including textiles, engineering goods, leather and handicrafts could be offered further incentives when the sops are unveiled during the first week of January. The Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma, had already indicated that the UPA Government was working on providing non-fiscal incentives to sectors that continue to underperform despite being given the necessary impetus in the stimulus packages.

Officials said the review that began from November 15, had been almost completed and a few lose ends needed to be tied up. But the Ministry has got a grip of almost all the sectors and where all further booster is required. “Our focus will be on labour intensive sectors as we would like to put in place measures that would lead to generation of employment along with economic growth,” Mr. Sharma said. Mr. Sharma said exports in November had turned positive and he hoped that this trend would continue for the remaining quarter of 2009-10. The contraction in exports has narrowed down, but shipments in segments such as apparels and handicrafts were yet to pick up, he added. In November, exports posted a growth of 18 per cent to touch $13.2 billion. Among the sectors that performed good during the month included gems and jewellery, readymade garments, man-made fibres and petroleum products.

Last month, the negative growth had come to single digit, which was encouraging. “Efforts are on with the export promotion councils to ensure that we move on to positive growth in the last quarter of the fiscal,” he said.

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