Another ‘stimulus package’ is being worked out for such labour-intensive sectors such as textiles, engineering, leather and pharmaceuticals to check the downtrend in exports and create jobs, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said on Sunday.

His contention is that diversification of export markets had started paying rich dividends.

Talking to journalists aboard a special Indian Air Force aircraft on his return from Egypt, Mr. Sharma said he had convened a meeting of the departments concerned on November 15 to review the impact of the previous stimulus packages. Thereafter a decision on further sops would be taken.

“We will be collecting figures and then decide on taking sector-specific measures. Our endeavour is to close the gap… We may extend help to the engineering, textile, apparel, pharmaceutical and handicraft sectors. These could include fiscal or non-fiscal measures.”

Maintaining that the power to provide tax incentives rested with the Finance Minister, Mr. Sharma said the meeting would have a closer look at the labour- intensive sectors that had been hit hard.

“The dark clouds are parting in Europe and the United States, and some rays of hope are appearing. The FTP listed new markets and destinations for demand and growth of exports. This move to cover new major markets of Latin Amercia, Africa and Pacific and Far East has already started paying dividends. By the time the major economies return to the same demand and consumption, we hope our target of doubling exports by 2015, including $200 billion in exports by 2010, will be achieved.”

“We will continue to sustain economic engagement and focus on expanding in new areas… Giving support to all sectors has definitely boosted the morale of the MSMEs. We will continue with the excise cuts and the DEPB scheme. There are 39 new markets — 26 in the Asia, Oceania and Caribbean regions and 13 in the Africa and Latin America region. They all are big markets, and we need to expand our presence there and increase the space with a long-term vision,” he said.

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