The measures announced by the government today to boost exports and revive SEZs have evoked mixed response from the industry with the apex exporters body FIEO saying the foreign trade policy lacked big-ticket reforms announcements.
“It was a routine policy. It has no bold or big-ticket announcements,” said R Ahmed,President of the Federation of Indian Export organisations (FIEO),which has been pressing for a USD 2 billion Export Development Fund (EDF).
Ahmed also expressed disappointment over the change in criteria for calculation of benefit under Served from India Scheme which he said will impact the hotel industry.
“Another set back has been lack of focus on marketing as no announcement of an EDF was made,” he added.
Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZs (EPCES) Chairman P C Nambiar too said as far as SEZs are concerned,for notified zones which are not operationalised,there are no facilities or incentives provided in the Policy.
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma today unveiled incentives for exporters and announced a package to revive special economic zones (SEZs),in the annual supplement to Foreign Trade Policy (FTP).
“Reduction of minimum area may help new proposals. This initiative may not result into a substantial further investments mainly because most of the already notified SEZs are to be operationalised for want of withdrawal of MAT. This issue needs to be addressed very seriously for attracting investments,” Nambiar said.
On the other hand,export bodies like Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) and Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) welcomed the policy,saying it will help in boosting textiles and engineering exports.
“Measure like expansion of zero duty EPCG scheme,extension of TUFS benefits to EPCG,announcements on promotion of incremental exports and winding the ambit of market and product focus scheme will help in promotion of garment exports from India,” AEPC Chairman A Sakthivel said.
Welcoming the announcements,CII President S Gopalakrishnan said these steps could revive investors¿ confidence in SEZs.
“Granting interest subvention to all the sectors would help in strengthening exports performance,” he said.
FICCI Senior Vice President Sidharth Birla said the package contains a number of positive measures which will help boost exports in the year 2013-14.
“Having a single zero duty EPCG scheme that will now be available to all sectors is a much-needed step in the right direction,” Birla said.