New Exim Policy To Simplify Procedures

New Delhi, May 27 | Updated: May 28 2004, 05:30am hrs
Commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath has said the annual export-import policy will focus on procedural simplification and lowering of transaction costs to make exports more competitive.

Addressing an interactive session on Exim policy organised by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (Fieo), Mr Nath said there would be lessening of controls and removal of roadblocks especially in sectors which have a potential for immediate growth like textiles, leather, handicraft, gems and jewellery.

The minister, who spent more than an hour with exporters taking note of their problems, said his aim would be to hold many more such consultations and invite suggestions on how transaction costs could be lowered and procedures could be simplified.

Exporters suggested that a regulatory authority should be set up to keep a check on the arbitrary charges asked for by shipping companies. They further said there should be a single window mechanism for filing of duty drawback claims and collection of payments.

Mr Nath assured exporters that he would take up the issue of harassment caused to exporters due to the sudden decision to levy taxes on sale of duty entitlement pass book (DEPB) scrips with retrospective effect with the finance ministry. He said since the benefit which the exporters were supposed to derive out of the DEPB scheme was being affected, he would take up the matter seriously.

The Exim policy would be finalised after exhaustive consultations and announced after the budget to reflect the priorities of the new government, the minister said.

Exporters also asked the minister to restore full benefits of tax exemption under Section 80-HHC of the I-T Act.

Subhash Mittal, vice-president Fieo welcomed the decision to form a core advisory group comprising major exporters to carry out regular talks with the government on measures to increase the countrys share in world trade from the present 0.7 per cent to one per cent before the target year 2007.