Govt announces steps to raise exports in 2012-13

New Delhi: Faced with uncertain global environment, government today announced a slew of measures, including extension of 2 per cent interest subsidy by one year, as part of 7-point strategy to achieve 20 per cent increase in exports to USD 360 billion in the current fiscal.

Unveiling the annual supplement to the five-year Foreign Trade Policy, Commerce Ministry Anand Sharma also said the government will soon come out with new guidelines to revamp Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and Export Oriented Unit (EOU) schemes to further boost the shipments.

"These measures will infuse necessary confidence in the exporting community and provide required dynamism even in this gloomy time," Sharma said, adding the government will watch the global economic developments closely and "shall intervene effectively to ensure that Indian exports stay well on course for achieving the targets".

He, however, expressed confidence that exports would grow by 20 per cent in the current fiscal. India`s exports grew by 21 per cent in 2011-12 to touch USD 303.7 billion.

As part of the seven-point strategy to boost exports, government has accepted the key demand of the industry to extend the 2 per cent interest subsidy till March 2013. "We have now decided to extend the scheme for another year till March 2013 and expand its coverage to include other labour intensive sectors namely toys, sports goods, processed agricultural products and ready-made garments," he said.

India Inc including exporters community welcomed the measures, saying that these initiatives would help in tiding over the problem being faced by exporters on account of global demand slowdown. To encourage exports, the government had came out with an interest subvention scheme, which ended on March 31, 2012.