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Industry prepares list of unmet demands

By BS Reporter in New Delhi
December 09, 2008 09:58 IST
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A day after the government announced the fiscal stimulus package, industry representatives were busy preparing a list of unmet demands, hoping they would receive some support in the next round of relief.

Chemicals, heavy engineering, automobiles, transportation and steel are some of the sectors which need supportive policy decisions, the industry has demanded.

The committee of secretaries headed by cabinet secretary K M Chandrashekhar will meet industry representatives from sectors which feel that they need help from the government to tide over the economic crisis.

"The committee will be meeting almost regularly to monitor the situation of the economy," said a senior government official.

Representatives from the sector who need further help from the government can make their presentations on measures they want," he added.

While the government's fiscal stimulus package included focussed measures for certain labour-intensive export sectors like textiles, industries engaged in chemical and heavy engineering were looking for measures like enhanced rates of duty drawback and duty entitlement passbook scheme.

Specific sectors such as textiles and chemicals are under pressure, and may need additional protection from dumping as international prices have collapsed, said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Sources told Business Standard that the commerce ministry would be pushing for increase in DEPB and Duty Drawback rates so that exporters can have enhanced tax reimbursements on goods meant for overseas sale.

"Enhancement in these rates would have meant that exporters from the engineering sector would have had tangible money in hand. Exports from this sector expanded marginally by only 0.8 per cent in October, as against about 25-35 per cent growth in the same month last year," said Rakesh Shah, member of a taskforce set up by the Engineering Export Promotion Council to access the impact of the global slowdown on the sector.

Meanwhile, initial estimates with the commerce ministry show that the exports in November dipped by about 12 per cent, almost the same level as the previous month.

This means that the export target of $200 billion is almost certain to be missed.

The commerce ministry will conduct a review of the target after getting the export growth figures in December.

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BS Reporter in New Delhi
Source: source

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