Exporters, industry and business chambers on Monday hailed the new initiatives and sops worth Rs. 1052 crore announced in the annual supplement of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) stating that these steps would help India achieve the export target of $200 billion this fiscal.

In order to give immediate relief, a bonus incentive (over and above the present benefits) of 2 per cent has been announced by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma to various sectors. The extra sops are 2 per cent of the export value.

“We are happy that the sectors which were not doing well have been considered. Extension of the Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) Scheme and interest subvention are welcome steps,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President A. Sakthivel said.

He said the focus of the changes has been on continuity of the existing schemes, support to labour-intensive sectors such as leather, handicrafts, handlooms, tea, certain engineering products, textiles, silk carpets, marine, toys and sports goods, and reduction of transaction cost and time by simplifying procedures and streamlining decision-making.

Extension of DEPB for six months and zero duty EPCG & SHIS for one year and their extension to additional sectors such as rubber, chemicals, sports goods, marine and toys will benefit these sectors, he added.

Mr. Shakthival agreed with the views of the Commerce Minister that global recovery was still fragile and uncertain and therefore Government should constantly review the situation with a view to fine tuning its policies to address the emerging concerns.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) President Rajan Bharti Mittal said: “I hope with all these incentives we should be able to achieve the target of $200 billion of exports. However, given the uneven recovery in the world economy, export performance needs to be closely monitored.”

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Director General Chandrajeet Banerjee said special focus to the labour-intensive sectors was most welcome. The focus on reducing transaction is critical and therefore a laudable step. The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) has welcomed the extra sops for the labour intensive sectors. Describing the new package as “enriching” the policy, the AEPC said the package could, however, be made better if the additional benefit of two per cent bonus as a higher support for market and product diversification was extended to the ready garment industry too, besides silk carpets, toy and sports goods, leather products and engineering items. The council also wanted the market focus product scheme extended to the U.S. market too .

Further, the council wanted the one per cent scrip available to status holder exporters under the Focus Market Scheme extended to those exporters, who were using the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme of the Textiles Ministry.

The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts also hailed the new package to promote exports and said, “the incentives offered will provide fillip to the exports of handicrafts and will surely result in double digit growth in 2010-11.”

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