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April 4, 2000
Exporters demand separate policy for small-scale sector
Exporters termed the recently announced export import policy for 2000-2001 by the Commerce and Industry Minister Murasoli Maran as purely an import policy and demanded a separate policy for the small-scale sector.
S P Agarwal, president of the Delhi Exporters' Association, or DEA, said, "The new Exim Policy has disappointed the exporters as there is nothing new in it except the introduction of special economic export zones on the lines of those in China."
The Exim Policy has disappointed more than 100,000 exporters from the cottage and small sectors, he said. "We do not understand why it has been hailed by other trade associations and chambers of commerce," he said.
'The new policy has allowed more imports of domestic products. This will destroy the domestic base. About 4,560 items have been put under the open general licence," he said, and added that India is fast becoming a dumping ground.
The DEA has demanded simplification of labour laws for the export industry, scrapping of the policy of star houses, one class of exporters, and a reduction in interest rates by 3 per cent.
"It is imperative that if India's exporters have to be globally competitive, interest rates must be reduced, otherwise it will be extremely unfair to allow globalisation and liberal imports to India without having a level playing field," Agarwal said.
He suggested instant export financing, development of a single passbook scheme, instant clearance of cargo, and a seven-day working week for all government agencies involved in international trade like customs, airports, ports and certification agencies.
Agarwal also said that deemed exports should be treated at par with physical exports for all benefits, so that Indian companies could source their requirements from domestic sources and save foreign exchange.
He demanded that the Board of Trade have adequate representatives of small exporters.
Meanwhile, the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative, or IFFCO, chairman Surinder Kumar Jakhar said that the co-operative would be able to survive, despite the liberalised imports of foodgrains envisaged in new Exim Policy.
After a meeting of IFFCO delegates in Jalandhar, Jakhar admitted that the co-operative may face hardships for the next two years, but would be able to survive the liberalised import regime.
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