New Delhi: With rupee scaling new heights each passing day, the Commerce Ministry has sought Prime Minister’s intervention to cushion its impact on exporters.
“Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing concern over the rising rupee and requesting his intervention,” Commerce Secretary Gopal K Pillai said at an ‘open house´ with FIEO.
He said the government was aware of the impact the appreciating value of the rupee against dollar was having on exporters, but measures to check its rise would need to be taken at the highest level.
“People are aware at the highest level and something is being done... we will take action and it is of concern to us,” Pillai added.
The rupee has touched a nine-year high of Rs40.55 to a dollar and exporters have seen their margins erode by 10%. They said if the rupee continues to appreciate, exporters’ competitiveness would suffer and they might be thrown out of the market.
Earlier participating in the open house on the Foreign Trade Policy, Pillai said the notification on refund of service tax on exports at post production stage would come in the next couple of weeks.
“The notification will have the list of services on which tax would be refunded and the means of how it would be done,” he said. The exemption of service tax on merchandise exports was one of the major announcements of the FTP.
Pillai said the government’s top priority was to reduce transaction costs for exporters as this would do more for boosting exports than various incentives in the long run.
Conceding the long-pending demand of exporters, he announced that benefits of the Focus Markets and Focus Products Scheme would also be available to goods exported from ports that were not connected electronically.
The Commerce Secretary said in the coming eight to nine months, all the ports would be connected electronically.
On complaints that business sensitive information about exporters was being leaked form the documents that they submitted to government authorities, he asked them to come up with specific instances so that police action can be taken.