Announces hike in rate of interest subvention to boost exports
The U.K. government’s step to take £3,000 bond for issuing visas to people of certain countries, including India, is a retrograde step and Britain should halt this move, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has said.
There were clear assurances from Prime Minister David Cameron and his Cabinet colleagues, some of whom he met during his visit to London last month, that no such step was in the offing and in fact both nations should work towards enhancing the strategic partnership, Mr. Sharma told journalists here on Wednesday.
“Our High Commissioner in Britain and the foreign office have not received any confirmation of any such step having been put in place or a proposal cleared by the Cameron Cabinet. As far as we are concerned, we have made it abundantly clear that after the successful visit of Mr. Cameron earlier this year, the clear assurances that have been given and the growing partnership that exists between India and the U.K., this would be a retrograde measure and negative step and should not be taken,” he said. The issue was taken up vociferously by him when he was in London with his British counterpart Vince Cable, he said. “I was assured both by Mr. Cable as well as another Minister, Oliver Letwin, that no such proposal has come before the Cabinet for consideration and the U.K. government will not take any measure, considering the strategic and important partnership with India when it comes to movement of professionals and tourists. At the moment we will go by the affirmations that were made and promises given at the highest level of the British government, unless and until anything to the contrary is confirmed or approved.”
On decline in exports and efforts to give it a big push, Mr. Sharma said the government decided to raise the rate of interest on subsidy scheme for exporters to 3 per cent and widen the coverage of the scheme to cover more sectors. “The rate of interest subvention from Thursday would be enhanced to 3 per cent from the present 2 per cent to deepen the benefit.”
The government was making available the required resources to clear all claims of exporters and provisions were being made to ensure that claims of the all exporters were settled forthwith. The government was also considering raising the Plan allocation for the Market Access Initiative, the Market Development Assistance and the Central Assistance to States for Developing Export Infrastructure and other Allied Activities scheme. A meeting of the Board of Trade on August 27 would consider more steps to give a boost to exports.