Exports may fall short of target: FM

Written by Agencies | New Delhi, February 29: | Updated: Feb 29 2008, 20:48pm hrs
For exporters whose margins have been hit by a robust rupee, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had some soothing words in his Budget speech - that the Government will lend them a sympathetic ear.

He said the government was sensitive to the needs of the export sector and will continue to respond sympathetically "as the situation demands".

Relief of over Rs 8,000 crore has already been extended to exporters in three tranches, he said in his Budget speech.

"The interest cost of sterilization through market stabilisation bonds, estimated at Rs 8351 crore for the whole year, is in sense subsidy to the export sector," he said.

"Merchandise exports have come under some pressure due to the appreciation of the rupee and may fall just short of the target of 160 billion dollars, although the growth rate was strong at 21.8 per cent during April-December 2007-08," Chidambaram said.

India's exports stood at 111 billion dollars in April-December 2007, registering a growth of 21.6 per cent.

The rupee appreciated by 9.8 per cent against the US dollar between April 3, 2007 and January 16, 2008.