Special Correspondent

The industry will gain an additional benefit of Rs. 18.15 crore

KOCHI: The Government has extended certain concessions to the coir sector to enable it weather the situation arising from the depreciation of the dollar against the rupee, according to the Coir Board.

Under the Duty Entitlement Passbook Scheme, the eligibility of coir and coir products has been enhanced from 1 per cent to 3 per cent on FOB value with effect from April 1, 2007. This will be in force till March 31, 2008, said a board release.

As a result, the coir industry will gain an additional benefit of Rs.18.15 crore, against the Rs.6.05 crore which it is currently getting.

Another concession extended to the coir industry is a two percentage point subvention of pre-shipment credit up to 180 days and post shipment credit up to 90 days between April and December 2007.

Besides, coir mats have been included for benefit under the Duty Drawback Scheme. This was a long standing demand of the coir industry.

The release said coir exporters were facing a “lot of problems on account of the turbulence of the dollar which was depreciating against the rupee”. The rupee had appreciated by 10 per cent since January, 2007.

Coir Board chairman A.C. Jose took up the matter with the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India “requesting him to rein in the rupee against the dollar which was plummeting, causing great anguish and consternation amongst the coir business community”.

Mr. Jose’s request to the RBI to initiate remedial measures in tandem with the Finance Ministry had borne fruit.