Foreign trade policy on April 18, sops likely

Written by feBureau | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 4 2013, 07:10am hrs
With a view to give a boost to shrinking exports and narrowing the burgeoning trade deficit, the government will announce the annual supplement of the Foreign Trade Policy on April 18. We have taken a number of measures and we are seriously looking at more measures and a forward looking, pragmatic (annual supplement) FTP will be announced on April 18, said commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma at the CII AGM.

The government in December had announced incentives for exporters, including the extension of 2% interest subsidy for an additional one year ending March 2014.

I have had very detailed discussions with the finance minister as he had announced in the Budget speech about the FTP and exports-related matters and support to the industry, and the two ministries are in talks, Sharma said.

Besides, the trade deficit is expected to cross $190 billion in 2012-13.

It will be between $192-196 billion. It's a serious challenge because it directly impacts deficit scenario, current account deficit too, Sharma said.

During April-February 2012-13, exports declined by 4% to $265.95 billion. Sectors like engineering and textiles which are registering negative growth, are likely to get some sops in the policy.

Special Economic Zones, which contribute about 30% of the country's overall exports, may also to get incentives.

These would help in boosting exports and bridging the widening trade deficit which has touched $ 182.1 billion in the 11-month period of the last fiscal.

Sharma also said he would push for higher foreign direct investment (FDI) cap in the defense sector beyond the current 26%.