Premal Udani, Chairman, AEPC complimented Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry for enriching the Annual Supplement of 2010-11 of Foreign Trade Policy 2009-14, which aims at improving the export performance of labour intensive sectors.
The additional benefit of two percent bonus as a higher support for market and production diversification over and above the existing benefit (as mentioned at para 1 on highlight of the Annual Supplement of 2010-11); annual advance licensing scheme; zero duty EPCG Scheme extension upto March 31, 2012 and extension of DEPB scheme upto June 30, 2011 are welcome steps to boost exports and sustain employment.
Udani, however, said that the readymade garment industry, which has a distinction of providing direct and indirect employment to over 60 lac countrymen has not been extended the additional benefit of two percent bonus. The two percent bonus as available to sectors like silk carpets; toy and sports goods; leather products; the engineering items, should also be extended to readymade garment sector, which is the largest employer after agriculture.
He further said that Market Focus Product Scheme of two percent is available for exports of garments to USA and European Union upto September 30, 2010. The announcement made by Government that exports to EU-27 would qualify for this benefit upto March, 2011 is welcome.
This benefit needs to be extended to USA market, which is the largest single trading partner of India. Exports of garments to USA in the year 2009-10 have recorded a negative growth of 2.17 percent. Thus, two percent benefit may be extended to USA market also.
Udani requested that under Focus Market Scheme, 1 percent scrip is available to status holder exporters. This should also be made available to those exporters, who are using TUF Scheme.
Udani welcomed the initiatives taken by Union Minister of Commerce and Industry to boost country’s exports especially to the labour intensive sector and hoped that the readymade garment sector would be further rewarded by the benefits as extended to other labour intensive sectors.